Skip to main content

Governing Urban Food Systems in the Long Run: Comparing Best Practices in Sustainable Food Procurement Regulations

Buy Article:

$24.90 + tax (Refund Policy)

Today’s food and agricultural systems are closely linked to pressing challenges for sustainable human life. Longer-term policy-making is seriously needed. Urban decision-makers have considerable power to shape the food and agricultural sector by, among other things, changing public food procurements towards greater sustainability.

The aim of this comparative study is to explain variation in the ambitiousness of policy targets and the successful implementation of urban food policies in the cities of Zurich, Munich and Nuremberg. I conducted an in-depth process-tracing analysis of the mechanisms behind the adoption and implementation of 13 sustainable food procurement regulations officially adopted by the city councils from 2003 to 2014. In all 13 cases, high electoral safety, credible expectations of long-term policy benefits and high executive institutional capacity are necessary conditions for the adoption of long-term policies. However, they do not explain variation in target’s ambition and implementation’s success. Based on theory-building process-tracing, I argue that the variation in the degree of adoption and implementation success of long-term policies can be explained by five policy process and design features: 1. deliberative and corporatist governance mechanisms, 2. a high level of central coordination for crosscutting policy implementation, 3. involvement of decision-makers in policy networks, 4. strong use of evidence-based instruments, 5. bundling of short-term and long-term benefits.

Keywords: bundling; comparative study; corporatism; deliberation; long-term governance; policy design; process-tracing; sustainable food procurement; urban food policy; veto player

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content