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The Problem with Feeding CitiesThe Social Transformation of Infrastructure, Abundance, and Inequality in America$
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Andrew Deener

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226702919

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226702919.001.0001

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Food Distribution as Unfinished Infrastructure

Food Distribution as Unfinished Infrastructure

(p.217) Seven Food Distribution as Unfinished Infrastructure
The Problem with Feeding Cities

Andrew Deener

University of Chicago Press

Although city centers lost their positions as the primary nodes in the flexible distribution system, they regained prominent “place-making” symbolic status. Food deserts first emerged in the 1970s, but more than 20 years later, the gentrification of food and place brought together new intersections between public health, social science, and market sectors into methods for evaluating and confronting inequalities in food access. This chapter examines the rise of new organizations promoting the development of urban supermarkets and the transformation to a large scale public/private partnership. Yet as new supermarkets opened in underserved neighborhoods, inequalities in health outcomes persisted. Repairing the infrastructural gaps reinforced the underlying weakness of the American food system: it fosters consumer convenience but does not promote public health.

Keywords:   food deserts, public health, unfinished infrastructure, place-making

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