Food Smart Cities for Development – EYD 2015 is a two-year EU funded project, started in December 2014, led by the Municipality of Milano and including various partners: Municipality Municipality of Bilbao, Municipality of Barcelona, Municipality of Brugge, Municipality of Gent, Municipality of Marseille, Municipality of Turin, Municipality of Utrecht, Department of Antioquia, Comitato Expo dei Popoli, Associazione Assemblea Generale Italiana Commercio Equo e Solidale (AGICES), World Fair Trade Organization, World Fair Trade Organization – Europe, Stichting Fair Trade Advocacy Office, and Fair Trade Hellas.
The Universal Exposition 2015 hosted in Milan, whose official theme is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, creates opportunity to share and give visibility to past experience, projects and strategies aimed at feeding the planet and assuring energy for life to future generations.
The Overall objectives of the project are:
1) to raise public awareness on the impact of European cooperation policies, with particular emphasis on decentralized cooperation, 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 and policy consistency.
The specific objective is to create a common reference framework (network of Food Smart Cities), to guide European Local Authorities and Civil Society Organisations in drafting, developing and implementing local food related policies.
The action is focused on urban food security and its related problems that will be placed high on the agenda (eg. in the post 2015 and SDGs Agenda) in the years to come. This aims at promoting inclusive, transparent and accountable governance of local food systems, with the participation of local authorities, private entities, CSOs and consumers; furthermore, it strongly advocates the participation of the most vulnerable groups, such as small-hold farmers, peri-urban farmers, pastoralists and small traditional fisheries, which are all groups that tend to be most affected by EU policies. The action will show how sustainable family farming production and localised food systems and knowledge – in the southern hemisphere and in Europe – are vital in creating fundamental global public goods such as a resilient, equitable and food-secure systems and the sustainable management of land, water and genetic resources. Building on these local food systems worldwide, the project aims to facilitate the interconnection between cities and civil society, in order to share experience and call for policies to augment such initiatives in the context of the European Year for Development (EYD 2015).
Many cities have already started a specific process towards the definition of sustainable food strategies, mainly on local and organic food, fair trade products, waste processes, and promotion of food security in developing countries. But in many cases these initiatives are not harmonized at the EU level and, furthermore, a coordinated urban food policy agenda does not exist. Hence, this project wants to create a network of Food Smart Cities where local authorities and civil society share the best practices and discuss food policy, both at their own local level and in a global framework, through decentralized cooperation.
Below a non-exhaustive list of activities organised within the project:
World Fair Trade Week 2015, Milan, 23rd – 31st of May
People’s Expo Milan, 2nd – 5th of June
Food Weeks: events, workshops, conferences on the themes of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, September-October 2015