‘Lines of flight’ in city food networks: a relational approach to food systems transformation

Diletta Acuti, Roberta Discetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper focuses on multi-actor partnerships within city food networks geared towards food system transformation. While an emergent body of research uncovered collective tactics in the context of urban food strategies, more research is needed to understand how tactics mobilised by multiple state, civil society, and market actors change based on different engagements and connections – namely their relational aspects. We conducted a systematic literature review of interdisciplinary research on Fair Trade Towns, one of the most globally widespread examples of multi-actor city food networks, to observe tactics from a relational perspective, analysed through the Deleuzian theoretical device of ‘lines of flight’. Findings show what tactics are employed by different state, civil society, and market actors in city food networks, and how these different partnerships act along ‘lines of flight’, activated relationally depending on the connections and the power dynamics in different assemblages. We conclude by identifying new avenues for future research to understand the relational, unfolding, and complex character of food system transformation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Studies
Publication statusAcceptance date - 27 Mar 2024


  • urban governance
  • sustainable food policy
  • assemblage theory
  • Fair Trade Towns
  • multi-actor partnerships


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