Urban food system transition via circular economy: The case of Karşıyaka, İzmir

Ozcam, Zeynep
The post-industrial society faces “multiple crises” arising from the effects of human systems on the environment. Cities, as the places of consumption, are places where the multiple crises converge and deeply manifest themselves. One of the alarming systems is the food system, with the unsustainable production and consumption patterns pushing environmental and social limits, leading to social inequality as well as ecosystem destruction. This requires a rethinking on the linear organization of the food system that basically locked within traditional technologies, lifestyles, supply chains, as well as organizational, regulatory, institutional, and political structures. Reimagining the linear organization of the food system is crucial, necessitating a shift towards building Urban Food Systems where food production and consumption are linked to local or regional supply systems. Integrating Circular Models into this approach offers a path to build more sustainable, resource-efficient and socially just and equitable food systems. The Circular Food System approach, based on the concept of the Circular Economy (CE), is a promising approach to develop food system to be redesigned in a sustainable and regenerative way with three major principles: producing food regeneratively and locally; designing waste out of the system; keeping materials in use. Promoting responsible consumption practices is also essential for accelerating this transition, requiring novel models to promote sustainability and circularity within food systems, ensuring food safety, social justice, and ecological harmony. The detailed exploration on the case of Karşıyaka, Izmir, shed light on the key urban food practices providing alternatives that can support circular and sustainable transition of the food system within urban level. In this framework, the study aims to examine the key urban food practices within Karşıyaka, a dynamic sub-centre of Izmir, Turkey, including various dimensions of the food system with diverse range of food-related activities and practices. However, despite the ambitious studies on food sustainability in Karşıyaka, the initiatives remain fragmentary, lacking widespread adoption as well as a holistic implementation of sustainable, and circular food system. Consequently, this underscores the need to explore key urban food practices, to assess their potential in terms of circularity and to examine possible drivers for new models as well as the barriers that prevent their proliferation. Essentially, based on qualitative and exploratory research methodology with a case study on Karşıyaka, this research aims to examine the key practices and highlights the role of new models in advancing or hindering the transition to a circular food system in a local context. Through this, the thesis is intended to provide a more holistic view of the food system, and to help identify ways to promote sustainable and circular practices. Ultimately, it aims to contribute to circular food systems, urban food systems and food planning literature.
Citation Formats
Z. Ozcam, “Urban food system transition via circular economy: The case of Karşıyaka, İzmir,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2024.