Evaluating Food Sustainability in the Context of Resource-constrained Cities: Singapore as a Case Study

By Lai Choo Malone-Lee, Melissa Reese, Chye Kiang Heng, Iftekhar Ahmed and Ishtiaque Shams.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The future challenges for food security in cities are daunting and the key question of how sustainable our cities are in this important area remains. It is increasingly acknowledged that the discourse of food and agriculture must extend beyond traditional production and consumption linkages to include issues such as nutrition, supply chain efficiencies and links to city land, water, energy, biodiversity and the larger urban economic system. For cities, there is still insufficient theoretical and academic discourse that investigates the subject of food security. There is also a misconception that food self-sufficiency is synonymous with food sustainability. This paper intends to provide a deeper insight, and it explores food sustainability to encompass the dimensions of urban food production, access to food, food utilization, and economic access for households. It also intends to increase the level of awareness and education in the field with a specific focus on resource-constrained cities, using Singapore as a case study. This paper presents an evaluative framework for assessing and evaluating food sustainability using a methodological approach that comprises the Delphi approach to systematically shortlist indicators to evaluate food sustainability.

Keywords: Food Sustainability, Resource-constrained Cities, Sustainability Dimensions, Indicators, Framework

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 745.683KB).

Dr. Lai Choo Malone-Lee

Director, Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Lai Choo Malone-Lee is the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities in the School of Design and Environment at the National University of Singapore. She holds a PhD from Tokyo Institute of Technology and a Masters (Town and Country Planning) from the University of Sydney. Her research interests are in the areas of urban planning policies and strategies for sustainable cities, focusing on the issues of densification, liveability and resource optimization. Her current research projects include studies on city benchmarking and housing typologies/density thresholds and Asian urban regeneration. She is a part-time consultant with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). She is also Board Member of Singapore’s National Parks Board.

Ms. Melissa Reese

Research Assistant, Centre for Sustainable Asian City, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, Singapore, -, Singapore

Melissa Reese is currently a researcher at the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities in the National University of Singapore's School of Design and Environment. Her current work focuses on benchmarking sustainable urban development, culture and its contribution to sustainability, and urban regeneration in the context of Asian cities. She holds a Master of Urban Planning with a specialization in international development from New York University and a Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Chye Kiang Heng

Dean, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Chye Kiang Heng is the Dean of the School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore. He had been a visiting scholar at Tsinghua and Kyoto Universities and was appointed visiting professor at Hanyang University (Korea), Keio University (Japan) and the Huaying visiting professor at the Southeast University in Nanjing. He has served as a jury member in numerous international design competitions and on several editorial boards of international journals. His previous works include On Asian Streets and Public Space (2010), A Digital Reconstruction of Tang Chang’an (2006), The House of Tan Yeok Nee (2003) and Cities of Aristocrats and Bureaucrats (1999).

Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed

Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Asian cities, School of Design and Evironment, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed: Iftekhar Ahmed received his Ph.D. from the Department of Architecture of the National University of Singapore in 2012. He also holds a Master’s degree in urban design from the University of Hong Kong (2005) and was trained as an architect (B.Arch., BUET, Dhaka, 2001). He has worked as a researcher at the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities in the School of Design & Environment, National University of Singapore. He has taught as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Architecture, BRAC University, Bangladesh. His research interests include informal heritage management, contemporary urban issues and sustainable development.

Ishtiaque Shams

Research Assistant, Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Ishtiaque Shams was a researcher at the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities in the National University of Singapore's School of Design and Environment. As part of the team working on benchmarking urban sustainability, his research focused on the themes of biodiversity and urban greenery, air and climate change. He holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management from the National University of Singapore in Singapore and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the North South University in Bangladesh. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Planning and Environmental Management at the University of Manchester in England.