Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF)

The Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF) carries out world-class research into food geographies - with a special attention for the role of cities and regions.

It builds on the interdisciplinary expertise of our long–established food research community at the School of Geography and Planning and Sustainable Places Research Institute to promote research, teaching and post-graduate training in the area of sustainable urban and regional food systems.


  • To design and take forward interdisciplinary and path-breaking research on urban and regional food systems.
  • To provide a focus for the School’s already extensive policy, advisory and stakeholder engagement activities from global (FAO, European Commission, WFP and UN-HABITAT) to national/local (DEFRA, Scottish and Welsh Government) work.
  • To disseminate research that contributes to meet today’s grand challenges about food security, sustainability and justice.
  • To support the training, career development and funding of researchers working on sustainable food systems.

We aim to be an international reference point for academic research on (and positive political/practical action for) food and urban and regional development. We aim to integrate and generate new research on governance, development and policy strategies relating to food sustainability, security and justice in both developed and developing countries.

Specifically, our current work focuses on:

  • The opportunities for (and barriers to) to food security and sustainability.
  • The implications of food policies on the spatial and socio-economic relationships between different actors in the food system and between rural and urban areas.
  • The development effects of strategies that address the welfare and health needs of the human and animal population.

Our staff also have expertise and research interests in the relationship between conventional and alternative food networks, food consumption practices, the interplay between global and local food systems, community food growing, public food procurement, food justice, animal geographies, and the community food sector.

Selected publications

Project name FundedInvestigator(s)
Transmango: Assessment of the impact of drivers of change on Europe's food and nutrition security European Union, 2014-2018 Sonnino, Marsden and Moragues Faus
Knowledge Brokerage Activities to Promote Sustainable Food Consumption and Production: Linking Scientists, Policymakers and Civil Society Organizations (FOODLINKS)European Commission, 2011-2013Sonnino and Morgan
Urban, Peri-Urban and Regional Food Dynamics: Towards an Integrated and Territorial Approach to Food (PUREFOOD)European Commission, 2010-2014Sonnino
Growing a Healthy Older Population: Community and allotment gardening amongst older people in South WalesNational Institute for Social Care and Health Research, 2011-13Milbourne
Assessment of the application of the EU 2010 directive on meat chickens’ welfareDEFRA, 2012-2014Miele
An exploration of factors that influence the expansion of the area affected by endemic bTBDEFRA, 2012-2014Enticott
Farmers’ confidence in vaccines for bovine tuberculosisDEFRA, 2010-2015Enticott
Pilot EU Centre on Animal Welfare and Research NetworkEUWelNet’ EU DG-Sanco, 2013Miele
Action Research: Solidarity Purchasing Groups in ValenciaGeneralitat Valenciana, Spain, 2011-2013Moragues Faus
Participation of small farmers in fair trade initiatives in Latin America: collective action, governance and social capitalCentre for Cooperation and International Development-UPV, 2011-2013Moragues Faus
The halal meat market in Wales, potentials and barriersWelsh Government, 2012Miele
Biodiversity and Food Security: Developing Collaborative Policy for Seagrass ConservationDarwin initiative for UK Overseas Territories Challenge Fund, 2012-2013Smith (participant)
Community action for climate change: Pathfinder learning reviewWelsh Government , 2012-2013Franklin
Sustainable agri-food systems and rural development in the Mediterranean Partner Countries (SUSTAINMED)European Commission, 2011-2012Moragues Faus (participant)
Forecast for the Future: Scaling Up the Community Food SectorPlunkett Foundation, 2010-12Morgan and Sonnino
Assessing Sustainability in the Context of Food SecurityJoint Research Centre, European Commission, 2012-13Sonnino and Moragues Faus
Community Grown Food in WalesWelsh Government, 2010-11Milbourne
Planting Spaces, Growing Places: Community gardening in disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods in the UKCardiff University, 2008-12Milbourne
Cultures of veterinary regulationESRC, 2008-2010Enticott
Veterinary Capacity in WalesWelsh Government, 2008-2010Enticott


Academic staff

Dr Christopher Bear

Dr Christopher Bear

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

+44 (0)29 2087 6181
Dr Gareth Enticott

Dr Gareth Enticott

Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)29 208 76243
Professor Terry Marsden

Professor Terry Marsden

Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning

+44 (0)29 2087 5736
Mara Miele

Professor Mara Miele

Professor in Human Geography

+44 (0)29 208 79121
Dr Ana Moragues Faus

Dr Ana Moragues Faus

Research Associate

+44 (0)29 208 75774
Professor Kevin Morgan

Professor Kevin Morgan

Professor of Governance and Development

+44 (0)29 208 76090