This document outlines initial thoughts regarding a possible associated research project on transformations to sustainable food systems in Brighton and Hove, based on discussions at a co-design workshop held in Brighton on 21st January 2015. As well as members from the STEPS Centre and Stockholm Resilience Centre, both members of the ISSC seed-funded ‘Constructing Pathways to Sustainability’ network, the event brought together stakeholders from local, national and international levels. These included academic networks associated with the ARTS project (Accelerating and Rescaling Transitions towards Sustainability), SLRG (the Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group), BSUFN (Brighton and Sussex Universities Food Network) and researchers at the two institutions at the University of Sussex that make up STEPS (SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit and the Institute of Development Studies). It also included representatives of local firms, growers (both independent and from community groups) and civil society organisations.
The discussions at the workshop first asked the question “does it make sense to talk about a food system in Brighton and Hove?” Pointing towards the interconnectedness with food systems at larger scales, a number of participants pointed to increasing flows of food into the city from other areas. These links between national and international systems (including policies) and the constraints that they had on sustainability decisions locally were identified as an important component of any potential research project. At the same time, it was felt that Brighton and Hove, due to its relative dynamism in this arena and a range of specific conditions, provided a sensible focus for future research.