Jane Battersby
Assoc. Prof. Jane Battersby
Room 6.01
Email:  jane.battersby@uct.ac.za
Phone: 0216505749










Jane Battersby is a human geographer with an interest in all thing’s food related. She has been at UCT in various capacities since joining as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2003. She has a DPhil from Oxford, an MA from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a BSc (Hons) from Kings College, London.

Her current areas of particular interest are urban food systems, urban food policies and the construction of food security theory in Northern and Southern research contexts. A key area of focus is the ways in which the food system and the urban system interact to shape nutritional outcomes, with a particular focus on the dual burden of malnutrition. Her work has both theoretical and applied components. To this end, she’s worked with a number of NGOs and civil society groups, done consultancy and advisory work with a number of UN Agencies and works closely with local and provincial governments on food policy issues.

She is a member of the IPES Food Expert Panel, serves on the FAO-GAIN Urban Food Systems Working Group and Urban Food Systems Coalition, is a team member on the CFS HLPE-FSN Reducing Inequalities for Food Security and Nutrition Report and is the Team Leader on the CFS HLPE-FSN Strengthening Urban and Peri-Urban Food Systems to Achieve Food Security and Nutrition in the Context of Urbanization and Rural transformation Report.

Current and Recent projects:

Living Off-Grid Food and Infrastructure (ESRC-Funded)

AfriFoodLinks (EU Funded)

Urban Food Futures (BMZ funded)

Food Systems Countdown Initiative

Co-creating sustainable responses to strengthening hunger alleviation, resilience, and economic participation among vulnerable women in South Africa (Co-SHARE)  (UCT Grand Challenge Pilot Project)

The Nourished Child Project (BBSRC funded)


Jane teaches into:

EGS1003S Geography, Development & Environment

EGS2015S Society and Space

EGS4039/EGS5039 Urban Food Security at the graduate level.


For a full list of publications please refer to Jane’s Google Scholar Online Profile (Hyperlink to here: https://scholar.google.co.za/citations?user=J0R_aUYAAAAJ&hl=en

Key Recent Publications (2018-2023)

a) Journal articles

1.     Spires, M., Battersby, J., Cohen, N., Daivadanam, M., Demmler, K.M., Marttioni, K., Pradeilles, R., Thompson, S., Turner, C., Venegas Hargous, C., Wertheim-Heck, S., Wills, S. & Hawkes, C. (in press) “The People’s Summit”: A case for lived experience of food environments as a critical source of evidence to inform the follow-up to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. Global Food Security

2.     Muzenda, T., Dambisya, P.M., Kamkuemah, M., Gausi, B., Battersby, J., Oni, T.  (2022) Mapping food and physical activity environments in low- and middle-income countries: A systematised review, Health and Place, 75, 102809 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102809

3.     Muzenda, T., Kamkuemah, M.. Battersby, J., Oni, T. (2022) Assessing adolescent diet and physical activity behaviour, knowledge and awareness in low- and middle-income countries: A systematized review of quantitative epidemiological tools, BMC Public Health, 22, 975. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-13160-6

4.     Blekking, J., Giroux, S., Waldman, K., Battersby, J., Tuholske, C. and Siame, G. (2022) The Impacts of Climate Change and Urbanization on Food Retailers in Urban sub-Saharan Africa, Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability, 55, 101169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2022.101169

5.     Hannah, C., Davies, J., Green, R., Zimmer, A., Anderson, P., Battersby, J., Baylis, K., Joshi, N. & Evans, T. (2022) Persistence of open air markets in the food systems of Africa’s secondary cities Cities, 124, May 2022, 103608. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2022.103608

6.     Fanzo, J., Haddad, L., Schneider, K.R., Béné, C., Covic, N.M., Guarin, A., Herforth, A.W., Herrero, M. Sumaila, U.R., Aburto, N.J., Barquera Cervera, S., Battersby, J., Beal, T., Brusset, E.,  Cafiero, C., Campeau, C., Caron, P., Cattaneo, A., Conforti, P., Davis, C., DeClerck, F.A.J., Elouafi, I.,  Fabi, C., Gephart, J.A., Golden, C.D., Hendriks, S.L., Huang, J., Laar, A., Lal, R., Lidder, P., Loken, B.,   Marshall, Q., Masuda, Y.J., McLaren, R., Molina, P.B., Neufeld, L.M., Nordhagen, S., Amuyunzu-  Nyamongo, M., Orta-Aleman, D., Remans, R., Resnick, D.E., Silverberg, M., Torero Cullen, M.,   Tubiello, F.N., Vivero-Pol, J.L., Wei, S., and Rosero Moncayo, J. (2021)  Food Systems Countdown Report: Tracking Transformation, Food Policy, 104, 102163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2021.102163

7.     Moragues-Faus, A. & Battersby, J. (2021) Urban food policies for a sustainable and just future: concepts and tools for a renewed agenda, Food Policy, 103, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2021.102124

8.     Odunitan-Wayas, F. O., Okop, K.J., Dover R.V.H., Alaba, O.A., Micklesfield, L.K., Puoane, T., Levitt, N.S., Battersby, J., Meltzer, S. T., & Lambert, E.V. (2021) Food purchasing behaviour of shoppers from different South African socio-economic communities: results from grocery receipts, intercept surveys and in-supermarkets audits, Public Health Nutrition 24 (4) 665-676, doi:10.1017/S1368980020001275  

9.     Davies, J., Hannah, C., Guido, Z., McCann, L., Battersby, J. & Evans, T. (2020) Barriers to urban agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, Food Policy, 103, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101999

10.                       Moseley, W.G. & Battersby, J. (2020) The vulnerability and resilience of African food systems, food security and nutrition in the context of the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, African Studies Review, 63 (3) 449-461, doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2020.72

11.                       Battersby, J. (2020) South Africa’s lockdown regulations and the reinforcement of anti-informality bias, Agriculture and Human Values, 37, 543-544. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-020-10078-w

12.                       Hunter Adams, J. & Battersby, J. (2020) Health care providers’ perspectives of diet-related non-communicable disease in South Africa, BMC Public Health. 20: 262 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-8364-y

13.                       Battersby, J. & Hunter Adams, J. (2020) No looking back: [food]ways forward for healthy African cities in light of climate change, Journal of Urban Health, 97 (2) 226-229. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-020-00429-7

14.                       Battersby, J. (2020) Looking backwards to go forwards, Gastronomica, 20 (1), pp. 19-20

15.                       Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (2019) The planned ‘city-region’ in the New Urban Agenda: an appropriate framing for urban food security?, Town Planning Review 90 (5) 497-518  https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2019.32 

16.                       Hunter-Adams, J., Battersby, J. & Oni, T. (2019) Food insecurity in relation to obesity and hunger in peri-urban Cape Town, South Africa, Appetite https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2019.03.012

17.                       Battersby, J. (2019) The Food Desert as a Concept and Policy Tool in African Cities: An Opportunity and a Risk. Sustainability , 11 (2), 458.

18.                       Odunitan-Wayas F., Okop, K., Dover, R., Alaba, O., Micklesfield. L., Puoane, T., Uys, M., Tsolekile, L., Levitt, N., Battersby, J., Victor, H., Meltzer, S., & Lambert E. (2018) Food Purchasing Characteristics and Perceptions of Neighborhood Food Environment of South Africans Living in Low-, Middle- and High-Socioeconomic Neighborhoods , Sustainability 10(2) 4801

19.                       Hunter Adams, J., Battersby, J. & Oni, T. (2018) Fault lines in food system governance exposed: Reflections from the Listeria outbreak in South Africa, Cities and Health 2 (1), 17-21 https://doi.org/10.1080/23748834.2018.1508326

20.                       Battersby, J. and Watson, V. (2018) Addressing food security in cities – a perspective from Africa, Nature – Sustainability, 1, 153-155. doi:10.1038/s41893-018-0051-y


1.     Moragues-Faus, A., Battersby, J., Clark, J. & Davies, A. (eds.) (2022) Routledge Handbook of Urban Food Governance, Routledge, London. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003055907

2.     Battersby, J. and Watson, V. (eds.) (2019) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge, London (https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-edit/10.4324/9781315191195/urban-food-systems-governance-poverty-african-cities-jane-battersby-vanessa-watson)

3.     Joubert, L., Battersby, J. and Watson, V. (2019) Tomatoes & Taxi Ranks, African Centre for Cities, Cape Town http://www.tomatoesandtaxiranks.org.za/the-book



Book Chapters

1.     Haysom, G. & Battersby, J. (in press) Urban food systems governance in Africa: Towards a realistic model for transformation, in Resnick, D. & Swinnen, J. (eds.) Political Economy of Food System Transformation, Oxford University Press.

2.     Nyaba, S., Peters, C., Battersby, J. & Paganini, N. (in press) With pots and pans to parliament Understanding and responding to crises through a critical feminist lens in Cape Town South Africa, in Levkoe, C., Hammelman, C. & Reynolds, K. (eds.) Radical Food Geographies, Bristol University Press.

3.     Haysom, G. & Battersby, J. (2023) Urban food security and resilience, in Béné, C. & Devereux, S. (eds.) Resilience and Food Security in a Food Systems Context, Spinger, pp. 355-388.

4.     Moragues-Faus, A., Clark, J., Battersby, J., & Davies, A. (2022) Towards urban food governance for more sustainable and just futures, Routledge Handbook of Urban Food Governance, Routledge, London

5.     Haysom, G. & Battersby J. (in press) The URBAL Methodology and the after-life of the review process: A case from South Africa, in Blay-Palmer, A., & Vallette, E. (eds) URBAL: An evaluation tool of the role of food innovations in building sustainable food systems, Routledge.

6.     Battersby, J. (2022) Does scholarship on African food insecurity have a rural bias?, in Otiso, K. & Moseley, W.G. (eds.) Debating African Issues: Conversations Under the Palaver Tree:, Taylor & Francis, pp. 164-172

7.     Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (2020) The planned ‘city region’ in the New Urban Agenda: An appropriate framing for urban food security? in Crush, J., Frayne, B. & Haysom, G. (eds.) Handbook on Urban Food Security in the Global South, Elgar.

8.     Battersby, J., (2020) Apartheid/Postapartheid. In: Kobayashi, A. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 2nd edition. vol. 1, Elsevier, pp. 169–175. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-102295-5.10159-3

9.     Battersby, J. (2020) Data gaps and the politics of data: Generating appropriate data for food system assessment in Cape Town, South Africa, in Blay-Palmer, A., Conare, D., Meter, K. & di Battista, A. (eds.) Sustainable Food System Assessment: Lessons from Global Practice, Routledge: London, pp. 93-110.

10.                       Battersby, J. & Haysom, G. (2020) Urban food security, in Massey, R. & Gunter, A. (Eds.) Urban Geography in South Africa, Springer, pp. 251-264.

11.                       Auerbach, R., Piek, H., Battersby, J., Devereux, S. & Olivier, N. (2019) The likely impact of the 2015/18 drought in South Africa: Lessons from the 2008 food price crisis and future implication, in Auerbach, R. (ed.) Organic Food Systems: Meeting the needs of Southern Africa, Cabi, pp. 81-99

12.                       Battersby, J. and Haysom, G. (2019) How food secure are South African cities? In Knight, J. & Rogerson, C. (eds.) The Geography of South Africa – Contemporary Challenges and New Directions, Springer, pp. 169-178

13.                       Battersby, J. & Haysom, G. (2019) Linking urban food security, urban food systems, poverty and urbanization, in Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (Eds.) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge

14.                       Battersby, J. & Muwowo, F. (2019) Unacknowledged food systems governance in Kitwe, Zambia, in Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (Eds.) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge

15.                       Fuseini, I., Sichone, O., & Battersby, J. (2019) Understanding food poverty in Kitwe: Nature, depth and household responses, in Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (Eds.) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge

16.                       Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (2019) Introduction, in Battersby, J. & Watson, V. (Eds.) Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in Africa, Routledge.

17.                       Fonseca, J., Battersby, J. and Hualdo, L.A.T. (2018) Can Cities - from the Global South - be the Drivers of Sustainable Food Systems? In Sustainable Diets: The Transdisciplinary Imperative, CABI, pp. 79-88.

18.                       Battersby, J. and Watson, V. (2018) Improving urban food security in African cities: Critically assessing the role of informal traders, in Cabannes, Y. & Marocchino, C. (eds) Integrating Food into urban planning, DPU-UCL/FAO, pp. 186-209.

19.                       Battersby, J. (2018) New goals, same gaps: The continued absence of urban food security in the post-2015 global development agenda. In Zulu, L. & D’Alessandro, C. (Eds.) Africa in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: A Geographical Perspective, Routledge

20.                       Battersby, J. (2018) Cities and urban food poverty in Africa, in Watson, V., Bhan, G. and Srinvas, S. (Eds.) Companion to Planning in the Global South, Routledge: London. ISBN-13: 978-1138932814