Feeding Cities. Putting food on the urban planning agenda

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Over the past decade, food security has emerged as a major challenge in cities and as a crucial issue for urban planners. Despite being a relatively new aspect of urban planning, local food system management has a long and varied history.

Key messages

  • Urbanisation affects every aspect of food systems, from how food is produced to how it is processed, packaged, transported, marketed and consumed – and to how food waste is handled and recycled.
  • Feeding rapidly growing cities in a sustainable manner is one of the key challenges for the coming decades.
  • The main problems in this respect include long and distant supply chains, poor infrastructure, waste, the underuse of opportunities for local production and, of course, urban over-nutrition and under-nutrition.
  • Growing evidence is now available from cities around the world of what works in practice.
  • Relevant local stakeholders must be involved, in order to create bottom-up support from key population groups.
  • Integrating food with urban planning requires the use of open data and information and communication technology (ICT), planning methods that properly connect informal and formal food-related activities, and the definition of comprehensive food profiles for cities.
  • City networks and alliances offer lessons and enable best practices to be shared.

Read the full paper here.

Authors: Daniele Fattibene, Giulia Maci and Guido Santini

Image courtesy of Marco Verch via Flickr.

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