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  • Katrien Verbeke

Mapping and visualizing food environments

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

We are currently living in environments where tasty and cheap food is available almost everywhere, and so we are constantly tempted to consume (often high-calorie) food and drinks. Working on food environments that promote the choice of a healthy and environmentally responsible diet is therefore an essential part of a coherent nutrition policy.

This study mapped the food environment for the cities of Ghent and Sint-Truiden and investigated which spatial interventions could have an impact on it.

In this research, Atelier Romain, Gezond Leven and Let us joined forces to combine different expertise in interdisciplinary research. Research that combines expertise in spatial planning with insights into health and behaviour and Let us' experience in urban food policy. In this way, inspiring cases from abroad were brought in to see new possibilities that can impact the food environment. This study brought first insights into the Flemish urban food environment, how it influences people's consumption behaviour and how policy can respond to this. The research goes from mapping, through surveys on consumption behaviour, to concrete policy recommendations.

Meanwhile, we see new policy taking food environments into account and giving it a place in their food policy. Examples include both the Antwerp food strategy, and the Flemish food strategy Go4Food, which specifically mention the importance of food environments.

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