Towards more resilient, community-driven urban food systems: design and implementation of case studies in European cities

Righini, I.; Pennisi, G.; Cirillo, C.; Munoz, P.; Curtis, A.; Stanghellini, C.; Orsini, F.


Increasing urbanization rates, loss of natural resources and the effects of climate change are challenging the sustainability of European cities. Therefore, ensuring resilient urban food systems is crucial to achieve food and nutrition security. Conventional systems are increasingly vulnerable to present and future disruptions, which urges us to change the way we produce, consume, and think about food. The development of local or regional food systems can play an important role because of the multifunctional services that are offered to the inhabitants of the city and its surroundings. The EU Project “Food systems in European Cities – FoodE” (H2020-862663) aims to encourage the development of such systems across the city-regional context by supporting their design, implementation and evaluation. Within the FoodE framework, 15 pilot case studies are being set up in 11 EU cities and serve as demonstration and first application of innovative solutions in market and social contexts, co-designed with citizens and relevant stakeholders. These local initiatives range from small-scale fisheries and low-tech market gardens to agricultural parks, semi-industrial high-tech greenhouses and vertical farms, in rural, coastal and urban agglomerations. This study reports and analyses the results of the community-based design approach of the pilot initiatives in the definition of priorities and optimal features to be implemented.