Space - Food - Society: Changing Food Consumption Practices of the Emerging Urban Middle Class in Meqele, Ethiopia - A Relational Approach of Local Dynamics and Spatial Manifestations of Socio-Cultural Transformation Processes


Dr. Barbara Degenhart

Research Area:


Food prices have risen steadily in recent years. At the same time, particularly in cities, the demand for food is increasing dramatically. As a result food security has become a key theme in urban development. This issue is taken up by food systems and value chains that guarantee the availability, accessibility, stability and aspects of utilisation of food. In order to support people with sufficient commodities, specific structures and regulation dynamics must be developed.

Ethiopia is still one of the poorest countries in the world. However, the rate of urbanisation there is also increasing; the regional cities in particular are expected to witness tremendous urban population growth in the future. The degradation of the economic structure and rapid urbanisation combined with the scarcity of land resources will only exacerbate urban poverty in Ethiopia, being directly correlated to urban food insecurity and questions of resilience, coping strategies and adaptation. The multidimensionality of urban food security and urban livelihoods aims for an interdisciplinary approach in human and social science. The overall goal is to uncover, analyse, identify and evaluate aspects of urban food security in relation to impacts, vulnerabilities and capabilities of urban livelihoods in two mid-sized cities in northwestern Ethiopia to determine and synthesise the sustainability of coping and adaptive strategies.