2021 is a ‘food year’ for URBACT: promoting food democracy and food sovereignty at the initiative of URBACT good practice city Mouans-Sartoux (FR) and the URBACT Transfer Network BioCanteens that it has led (with partner cities in Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Romania).Continue reading
Discover how URBACT cities are using sustainable food and urban agriculture to address an array of local challenges.
In this article, URBACT Programme Expert Marcelline Bonneau shines a light on several URBACT partner cities making the transition towards more sustainable local food ecosystems – and some of the practices they have developed in the process. She concludes with a reminder of the importance of integrated food policies at city level.
A multitude of local food solutions in URBACT cities
Since 2013, the URBACT programme has supported seven networks working on topics linked to sustainable food and urban agriculture engaging around 50 European cities in transnational learning and exchange. These are: Food Corridors, BioCanteens, RU:rban, BeePathNet, Sustainable Food in Urban Communities, Agri-Urban and Diet for a Green Planet.Continue reading
People of varied backgrounds and from all over the world met at the UrbanA Community Conversation on 30th June 2020 to address the question of food poverty and solidarity. UrbanA Fellow Marcelline Bonneau, an expert in both the URBACT programme and the Urban Innovation Actions initiative, led the conversation. She began by sharing her experience and understanding of how European municipalities have approached food poverty during the COVID19 crisis. She focused on three questions:
- How have cities supported those in need of food during the crisis?
- How have cities reorganized traditional food aid systems, such as funded meals in canteens or regular food distributions?
- How can food more widely address (urban) poverty?
Cities have shown how agile they can be in addressing increased needs of their local population in terms of access to (healthy) food. As the economic crisis unfolds and hits the most vulnerable first, it is important to think about what cities can do to sustain and transfer such good practices and what support they need at national and European level.
“The idea behind all initiatives is not to leave anybody behind during the Covid-19 crisis.” Josep Monras i Galindo, Mayor, Mollet de Vallès (Spain)
Digitalisation is omnipresent in today’s social and urban life and URBACT cities are seizing the opportunity.
Alison Partridge, Lead Expert of the TechRevolution transfer network, has been an advocate for cities to ‘adapt or die’ for many years: “cities of all sizes need to better understand the opportunities offered by digital and tech and jump on them to grow higher value jobs and start-ups for local people”. Indeed, at all levels of society and of governance, services and products are going digital: online availability, digital tools for access, compiling and using data to proceed to meta-analysis.
The transition to a society based on “virtual”, intangible, vectors, using computing techniques and algorithms – a digital transition – is on the up in European cities, meaning more intrusions in our daily lives.Continue reading