Keynote Lecture: University of Toronto, Green Gala 2017


My doctoral work investigates how spatial policies and development interventions related to modern food provisioning infrastructures impact and transform the patterns of food consumption in urban areas of the Global South. I argue that these spatial policies threaten traditional infrastructures and the livelihoods of the poor. In my research, I look at both urban food provisioning and waste infrastructures to understand how urban residents are coping with the immense burden of waste (due in part to an increase in variety of foods and associated packaging) and how they navigate a new waste regime which restricts the ability of urban Indonesians to process their own organic waste.


The urban research agenda is becoming a global priority as scholars and policy makers struggle to answer the question of “how can cities cope with the challenges posed by urbanization and climate change?” My research has been centered on the issue of food as it is strategically situated within the water and energy nexus and is the foundation for urban resiliency. By investigating food systems issues in urban areas, especially the global issue of food waste, it is possible to come up with solutions that promote environmental justice. While my dissertation is focused on Indonesia, I have also had the opportunity to apply my expertise on the issues of food waste and food security in the global North (Toronto, Canada) through the Food Systems Lab: Social Innovation Lab. I am currently working on two research projects one based in Toronto (funded) and one Canada-wide (under development). Both projects were inspired by my dissertation work and the research I have done through the Food Systems Lab.


  • I have taught several courses as a Course Instructor (Course Director) including Food Matters I (NEW101), Food Matters II (NEW 111) and Global Food Systems (GGR 329) with stellar evaluation by students.

  • Underlying my academic research is a focus on building relationships, deep humility in the search for truth(s), and a collaborative systems approach to engage with community members. Systems thinking is my approach to understanding cities, the environment, the food system, and various social phenomena studied in the field of urban planning.

  • I aim to ensure that students come out from my class exposed to an array of rich theoretical understandings and epistemologies from the Global South, Indigenous scholarships and to the work of scholars from various regions that have largely been marginalized or underrepresented in academia. 

  • The students are also taught applied skills via vermi-composting workshops, writing classes, and engage with experts through guest lectures, and field visits around the city. In the course Food Matters (NEW101), I exposed first year undergraduate students to opportunities for publishing, resulting in New College’s first launch of the Food Matters journal available online and in print. It is my teaching goal to foster the passion for environmental and social justice by creating a memorable learning experience for my students.

Food Matters Journal click here

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