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Historically, food geographies in advanced economies have been shaped by a “productivist spatial fix” that has introduced a fundamental separation between city and countryside and between food consumption and production. After briefly examining the limitations of this model, the paper focuses on urban food strategies as an alternative response to the complexity of current cross-scale challenges in the food system. Based on a discourse analysis, the paper highlights four main novelties embedded in the urban approach to food security and sustainability: systems thinking; a holistic view that emphasizes the connections between health, social, ecological and economic development; a “new localism” that gives new prominence to the urban-regional scale; participatory governance, with is emphasis on social inclusion, participation and community capacity-building; and trans-localism, or the formation of networks through which cities are gaining the collective capacity to span larger geographical and higher political scales. As the paper concludes, these innovations are promoting a relational turn in the geography of food that deserves attention for its potential to build the social capacities needed to meet the contemporary joined-up sustainability challenges and, more broadly, to advance a more inclusive and reflexive post-capitalist politics.