The role of Cities in building sustainable food systems - IPES-Food at CFS and Milan Mayor’s meeting

(13.10.2016) On Thursday 13th October, Professor Corinna Hawkes gave a keynote speech on urban food policy at the annual Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) Mayor’s meeting, organized to follow up on the pledges made by cities as part of the MUFPP. The keynote presented the intial findings of an upcoming set of case studies compiled by IPES-Food, which brings to light how innovative food policies have been developed from a variety of entry points in cities around the world. 

Increasingly, city governments around the globe are using their powers to help put sustainable food systems in place. Through integrated, cross-departmental action, they are using food as an entry point to help resolve wider issues, including environmental challenges, health and social inequalities, poverty, poor infrastructure, and a sluggish economy. 

While there is a growing body of knowledge on what can be done to improve urban food systems, we know a lot less about how it can be done. IPES-Food's case studies report, due for release in early 2017, addresses the following three questions:

  • What have been the factors that have driven policy forward?

  • What are the barriers to putting these policies in place and how have they been overcome?

  • What can be learned from these experiences for addressing the multitude of food-related challenges in cities today, from waste to obesity, climate change to food safety?

An abstract containing some of the initial findings can be found here.

Professor Hawkes will also be discussing the role of cities in building sustainable food systems and presenting the initial findings of these case studies at the FAO Committee on World Food Security (CFS): On Tuesday 18 October (8.30-10h). A CFS side event on ‘Urban and sub-national food policies and their role in sustainable food systems’ will be co-hosted by IPES-Food, the UNESCO Chair on World Food Systems (Montpellier), FAO Food for Cities, the International Urban Food Network (IUFN) and the government of the Ivory Coast. See the flyer for this event here. More details on this and other CFS side events can be found here.

The role of cities and city-regions in the transition to sustainable food systems will also be discussed in an address by Olivier De Schutter to the Economic Bureau of the Province of Namur (Namur – 22nd November).