Food (in)security in urban peripheries: the case of Maré, Rio de Janeiro

by Antonis Vradis and Timo Bartholl

06 Aug 2019
Journal of the British Academy
Number of pages
16 (pp. 245-260)

Abstract: This article discusses urban food insecurity and the right to the city in the case of Brazil overall, and in the Maré complex of favelas in Rio de Janeiro in particular. It presents the key questions that guided our research project, Nutricities, as these stemmed from our four working groups on urban agriculture; agroecological markets and food distribution; the genealogies of pacification; and food sovereignty in the favela. In addition, the article presents the action-research approach deployed by our team for the study of food insecurity. This study was situated in the context of the increasing securitisation of Brazilian urban peripheries, and the ensuing obstacles caused to their populations’ right to the city — by which we mean their claim to fundamental urban rights, which include access to affordable and good-quality food. The article proposes the agroecological approach as a potential avenue to reach popular food sovereignty in the areas where this prospect seems most distant at present: the urban peripheries of the Global South.

Keywords: Action-research, food insecurity, right to the city, urban periphery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 7, supplementary issue 2 (Cities and Infrastructure in the Global South).

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