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Does food availability differ by socioeconomic status of the neighborhood? A typology of foodscapes in Montpellier, France

Abstract : Scholars have shown that planning, urban policies, and food and mobility individual practices shape foodscapes, which, in return, could affect food practices. In particular, many studies show relations between food environment and diet, others highlight food deserts. In France, nearly all food stores sell fruits and vegetables. However, are they equally available in all neighborhoods or are they more available in wealthier neighborhoods? Does the diversity of food outlets differ by socioeconomic status of neighborhood? Does this relationship depend on urban morphology? This presentation will show the diversity of foodscapes of the Montpellier city-region, France, and discuss the findings in relation to the socioeconomic status of inhabitants. We distinguish five foodscapes based on indicators of food availability (density and diversity of food outlets, and density of fast food restaurants), and of built environment, using hierarchical cluster analyses. We identified an inverse relation between food availability and socioeconomic status. In Montpellier city, the poorest sectors have overall a high food availability, while the neighborhood with the lowest number of food outletsis the wealthiest. In suburban localities, this inverse relationship between income levels and food availability is less clear. Food availability is good in village centers and around shopping areas, lower in all residential suburbs. Areas with the lowest diversity and density of food supply are hence mainly wealthy residential neighborhoods, where most households have a car. Such results highlight the importance, for studying the relation between foodscapes and socioeconomic status, to take into account the physical, the economic and cultural dimensions of food accessibility, but also the ways people navigate the foodscapes in their daily journeys (activity spaces).
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Submitted on : Friday, February 5, 2021 - 12:18:43 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 12:08:33 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-03132675, version 1


Simon Vonthron, Coline Perrin, Christophe-Toussaint Soulard. Does food availability differ by socioeconomic status of the neighborhood? A typology of foodscapes in Montpellier, France. AESOP-SFP Conference "Agroecological transitions confronting climate breakdown: food planning for post-carbon city", AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Group, Nov 2019, Madrid, Spain. 289 p. ⟨hal-03132675⟩



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