The challenges of providing European citizens with affordable, safe and nutritious food and creating healthier and more sustainable city-region food systems raise the need for the development of integrated urban food policies that are able to engage with the complexity of the food system.
FOODTRAILS, a four-year project led by the City of Milan, brings together a consortium of 19 partners (including 11 EU cities, 3 universities and 5 prominent food system stakeholders). They will be followed by another 21 cities from around the world. Their shared goal will be to translate the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact’s shared vision and collective commitment to integrated urban food policies into measurable and long-term progress towards sustainable food systems.
Building on the momentum created by the recent emergence of cities as key sites to reimagine, enact and engage with food system transformation, FOODTRAILS will provide city and regional governments and other agents of change with evidence-based policy narratives. These narratives will be co-designed and verified through the activities of 11 multi-objective and multi-actor Living Labs committed to addressing the 4 priority areas of the flagship FOOD 2030 European research framework:
- nutrition and healthy diets
- climate and environment
- circularity and resource efficiency
- innovation and empowerment of communities.
Using the knowledge produced through a critical review of both academic and ‘grey’ literature on innovations for food system transformation, the Living Labs will co-design pilot projects that minimize the trade-offs between the 4 priority areas, and can function as an entry point for the development of integrated urban food policies.
FOODTRAILS will also establish a pan-European Investors’ Living Lab to develop innovative financial instruments that will attract new resources to sustain the urban food policies developed during the project, maximize their visibility and support their replicability across the EU – an objective that will be pursued also through the development of a high-level engagement and dissemination strategy.
Head of the School of Planning and Geography