Food for the cities programme

Determining initial CRFS boundaries

The spatial/territorial boundaries of the city region food system represent the outer limits of the geographical area in which the CRFS assessment and planning process is conducted. 

These boundaries must be determined so that project teams can establish: 

  • the relevant geographical area for collation or collection of territorial data and indicators; and 
  • the area for which any interventions will be designed, and in which they will be implemented. 

CRFS boundaries are established in a participatory way, involving members of the project team and the SAG. 

Initial boundaries will be determined early on in the CRFS assessment and planning process, based on chosen criteria and existing data. However, these boundaries should not be considered as set in stone. They may be revised during subsequent modules to take account of emerging data.

A key element of determining the CRFS boundaries is the production of base GIS maps onto which new data relating to the character and functioning of the CRFS and risk components (hazards, impacts, exposure, vulnerability, resilience capacities) can be layered in subsequent modules. 


The following tools will help determine CRFS boundaries: 

Guidance: Step-by-step GIS guide for the CRFS assessment and planning process

[Available soon] 

Examples: Pilot cities’ CRFS boundaries and how they were determined

Examples of CRFS areas of pilot city regions in the first phase of the CRFS programme (Lusaka, Zambia; Kitwe, Zambia; Medellin, Colombia; Toronto, Canada; and Utrecht, Netherlands), and detailed explanations of the options and criteria used to determine CRFS boundaries in Antananarivo (Madagascar), Medellin, Toronto, and Utrecht. 


Training unit 4: Defining CRFS boundaries

This unit concerns the process, data, and tools for establishing the spatial and territorial boundaries of the city region, to enable the mapping and assessment of territorially-defined data and indicators.