Food Smart Cities for Development

Food Smart Cities for Development is an international project funded by the European Commission’s Development education and awareness raising (DEAR) programme. It involves 12 urban areas over three continents that will coordinate their food policy and their international cooperation activities.

2015 is the European Year for Development and cities and civil society organizations will work together until the end of 2016, organizing activities that enhance the collaboration to create a coordinated urban food policy agenda and show the potential of the European Territorial Cooperation in fighting against poverty and hunger.

According to the latest data released by FAO, over 800 million people around the world still lack access to sufficient food. Today, the world’s poorest concentrate in rural areas, but in less than 40 years two out of three people will reside in urban centres. The issue of poverty and food access in large cities is going to become central, especially for slums in developing countries – as also underlined by the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project aims at fostering the role of the cities in changing the urban food production and consumption pattern by promoting inclusive, resilient and fair local food systems.

The main objectives of Food Smart Cities for Development are:

1 – to raise public awareness on the impact of European cooperation policies, with particular emphasis on decentralized copperation, on food security and on sustainable development.

2- to strengthen the role of European Cities as facilitators in the promotion of sustainable development focusing on global food security strategies.

Food Smart Cities for Development aims at creating a common reference framework, a network of “smart” cities, to guide European Local Authorities and Civil Society Organizations in drafting, developing and implementing local food related policies.

At the local level all partner cities are going to define a Urban Food Policy through a participated process that engages civil society. This process will find a synthesis in the project’s guideline that will contain recommendations and best practices to guide other cities in similar experiencies.

Throughout 2015 and 2016 several events took place and are taking place around the Food Smart Cities for Development project:

-Food Smart Events in the partners cities

-Workshops on Food Policies in the partners cities

– Third World Forum on Local Economic Development UNDP to be held in Turin in October 2015

World Fair Trade Week held in Milan in May 2015

People Expo’s Forum held in Milan in June 2015

-International Conference on the Food Guidelines to be held in Milan in October 2015,  in the framework of the presentation of the Global Food Policy Pact.

-Local events to illustrate the Guidelines International Final Conference in Brussels.

The process is coordinated by Milan with the participation of Turin, Barcelona, Bilbao, Bruges, Gent, Utrecht, Marseille, the Antioquia departement-Medellin and Dakar, London and Tessaloniki as associated cities.

Peolple’s Expo, AGICES, World Fair Trade, World Fair Trade Europe, FTAO and Fair Trade Hellas, are among participating NGOs.