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Historically, trade has shaped rural-urban interactions. Specifically, since the Medieval times, food trade has played a key role in these interactions: cities combine short and long-distance supply chains (Marin & Virloulet, 2003), and they often exert their domination over the countryside (Steel, 2008, Daviron et al., 2017). While rural exodus is still relevant in the Global South (Liu, et al, 2010), in the North it accompanied industrialization until the middle of the 20th century. Urbanization has also reorganized food supply chains (regional specializations, national markets and exportation), while promoting regional gastronomies (de Planhol, 1987).

However, for a century, the countryside has no longer been considered primarily as a resource for the city, although this conception has declined at various rates across the world. The end of rural depopulation in some countries, industrialization of agriculture, and urban growth have fostered a growing disconnection between the agrifood sector and globalized urban economies. Cities are sprawling over peri-urban and rural areas. As rural areas provide residential amenities, allowed by increased commuting, teleworking, recreational development and rural tourism (Perrier-Cornet, 2002), cities have built new interactions with the countryside. Rural areas are also more and more recognized as natural reserves and for the ecosystems services they provide to urban society (Kroll et al., 2012).

More recently, food has come back on the urban agenda, both in Global North and Global South cities. Social movements advocate for more local, environmental-friendly, and healthy agri-food systems (Morgan & Soninno, 2010) in response to crises leading to food insecurity and health issues (Heynen et al., 2012). Demographic forecasts, migrations, and climate change will further impact the food system (Schmidhuber & Tubiello, 2007), compelling us to adopt a prospective approach on food security issues and on the resilience of territories (HLPE, 2017). This food concern is not limited to megacities, but also applies to medium and small cities, rural and periurban areas, in the Global South as well as in the Global North (Rymarsky, Thirion, 1997).

By considering urban-rural linkages as a scientific and political field (Mathieu, 2017, Westlund, 2018), geographers can make an original contribution to the food field. The goal of this call for sessions is to identify and shape geographical thematic tracks linking city-countryside studies and the food issue.


  • Berger, M., Chaléard, J.L. (2017). Villes et campagnes en relations, regards croisés Nord-Sud. L’Harmattan, 299 p.
  • Billen, G., Barles, S., Garnier, J., Rouillard, J., & Benoit, P. (2009). The food-print of Paris: long-term reconstruction of the nitrogen flows imported into the city from its rural hinterland. Regional Environmental Change, 9(1), 13-24.
  • Chaléard, J. L., & Dubresson, A. (Eds.). (1999). Villes et campagnes dans les pays du Sud: géographie des relations. KARTHALA Editions.
  • De Planhol X. (1988). Géographie historique de la France. Fayard, Paris.
  • Heynen, N., Kurtz, H. E., & Trauger, A. (2012). Food justice, hunger and the city. Geography Compass, 6(5), 304-311.
  • HLPE (2017). High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition. FAO, Report, Nutrition and Food Systems, 12.
  • Kroll, F., Müller, F., Haase, D., & Fohrer, N. (2012). Rural–urban gradient analysis of ecosystem services supply and demand dynamics. Land use policy, 29(3), 521-535.
  • Liu, Y., Liu, Y., Chen, Y., & Long, H. (2010). The process and driving forces of rural hollowing in China under rapid urbanization. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 20(6), 876-888.
  • Marin B., Virlouvet C. (2003). Nourrir les cités en Méditerranée – Antiquités – Temps modernes, Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme, Maison & Larose, Paris.
  • Mathieu N. (2017) Les relations Villes Campagnes. Histoire d'une question politique et scientifique. L’Harmattan, Paris. 
  • Morgan, K., & Sonnino, R. (2010). The urban foodscape: world cities and the new food equation. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 3(2), 209-224.
  • Perrier-Cornet, P. (2002). Repenser les campagnes. Editions de l'Aube/DATAR.
  • Rymarsky, C., Thirion, M. C. (1997). La faim cachée: l'aide alimentaire en France, 81, ECLM.
  • Schmidhuber, J., & Tubiello, F. N. (2007). Global food security under climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(50), 19703-19708.
  • Sinclair R. (1967). Von Thünen and urban sprawl. Annals of the Association of American
  • Geographers, 57(1), 72-87.
  • Steel, C. (2013). Hungry city: How food shapes our lives. Random House.
  • Westlund, H. (2017). Urban-rural relations in the post-urban world. In The Post-Urban World. Routledge, pp. 70-81.