New FAO global map calls for greater attention to small towns in food systems organization

A global mapping of urban-rural catchment areas challenges planning and development paradigms overly centered on large cities.

Through the compilation of multiple spatial datasets, the FAO and the University of Twente reveal that 40% of the global population lives in suburban areas of big and small cities, while remote hinterlands are home to less than one percent of the world population.

Moreover, nearly two thirds of low-income countries inhabitants live in small cities and their surrounding, catchment areas.

The research provides a strong case for policy efforts in low-income countries geared towards the organization of integrated city-region food systems, taking into account the linkages between smaller cities and their catchment areas.

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