CoE Articles

CoE-FS, KU Leuven launches ‘Urban Food Systems’ MOOC

Published March 3, 2023, by Carla Bernardo

Photo Food security-related images taken by Yassey Booley at Kanana in Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa for Everyday African Urbanism’s Food Lab. Released by Africa Centre as per approval by Yassey Booley/Wikimedia Commons.

In partnership with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS) has developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), titled Urban Food Systems. The MOOC begins 13 March 2023 on the edX platform, and is free and accessible for all stakeholders and the public, with an option to purchase a course completion certificate.

The five-week, self-paced MOOC is one of the innovative outcomes of the “Exploring Food System Transformations in Rapidly Changing African Cities (Food4Cities)” project within the CoE-FS. Food4Cities is a collaborative agreement between the project leads, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU-A) and CoE-FS host institution, the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The other collaborators and principal investigators are based at KU Leuven and Makerere University (MAK).

The core team consists of Professor Peter Verburg (project lead (PL), team coordinator) (VU-A); Professor Anton van Rompaey (PL, Kampala) (KU Leuven); Professor Shuaib Lwasa (MAK); Dr Jacqueline Davis (VU-A), (2018–2020); Dr Nyasha Magadzire (UWC) (2019–2020); Dr Lisa Marie Hemerijckx (KU Leuven); Professor Julian May (PL, Worcester) (CoE-FS, UWC), and Raymond Esau (Breede Valley Municipality).

Food4Cities developed representations of food systems and urban growth of rapidly developing African cities through multidisciplinary methods that identified trade-offs and synergies between food systems, urbanisation and other development goals. Focusing on the secondary city of Worcester in South Africa, and Kampala in Uganda, this project aimed to analyse and map the urban food system and its relationship with food security.

The project comprises the following work packages:

  • Knowledge co-production and participatory planning
  • Characterise the food system
  • Model food systems dynamics and explore alternative futures
  • Collaboratively plan for the future.

Findings from the Food4Cities project are disseminated in the Urban Food Systems MOOC, and feature core team members Professor May, Dr Hemerijckx, Professor Lwasa, Professor van Rompaey, Dr Michelle Eichinger (VU-A), Rubia Korstanje (KU Leuven).

To find out more about the course, and to enrol, please visit edX here.

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