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Megacity Challenges: Safe Food and Education–: an exploration of challenges and possible ICT solutions
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC).
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Megastäders utmaningar: Livsmedelssäkerhet ochutbildning– : en explorativ studie av utmaningar och möjliga ICT lösningar (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

In 2012, 50 % of the world’s citizens lived in urban areas. By the year of 2050 that number is estimated to have increased to 70 % with the biggest growth of cities seen in Asia and Africa. Megacities, urban areas with an excess of 10 million inhabitants, are increasing in number and will bring new challenges as well as opportunities. One of humans’ basics needs of survival is food. Today more and more food scandals about dangerous additives or chemicals, fake food, and untruthful listing of ingredients are surfacing in the media. At the same time knowledge about food and where it comes from is decreasing. This report takes a closer look at today’s status of food safety in a megacity context, what this will meanfor all the stakeholders in the food chain, and if and how an ICT concept could be created for supporting the situation. Investigating this makes it possible to learn more about if, why, and in what context an ICT concept could serve a megacity’s inhabitants. The context of the megacity was defined as Beijing due to many food scandals and the fast-paced urbanization trend in China. Information and feedback have been collected during literature research, a survey answered by persons living in Beijing, and brainstorming and ideation sessions that resulted in two examples of possible concepts: FoodBook and FarmConnect. The concepts target problems in transparency, education and corruption for the food industry in Beijing from the consumer’s point of view. The FoodBook is about making safe choices while shopping and being able to get instant and relevant information. As a complement to everyday shopping, FarmConnect is about connecting the consumer with the farmer in an attempt of increasing trust and education. The concepts were discussed during interviews with students from Beijing, now studying in Stockholm, to learn more about potential user’s thoughts on the possibilities and problems with the created ICT solutions. The study has a qualitative approach focusing on the research and conceptualizing stages of the process and does not claim to present any statistically defensible data. The intention of it is merely to show tendencies and raise a discussion. Keywords: Megacity, ICT, Safe food, Education, Beijing, Socioeconomic maturity level

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-150415OAI: diva2:743161
Available from: 2014-12-09 Created: 2014-09-03 Last updated: 2015-01-30Bibliographically approved

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