Food for the Cities


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Food for the Cities Initiative

Urbanization is one of the major factors influencing global reality. By 2050, an estimated 70% of world’s total population will be urban. In addition to a new spatial configuration, urbanization brings fundamental changes to the socio-economic environment, including in the prospects for food and nutrition security.

In 2001, FAO launched a multidisciplinary initiative “Food for the Cities” which aims at addressing the challenges that urbanization brings to the urban and rural population, as well as the environment, by building more sustainable and resilient food systems.

The concept of city region food systems (CRFS) encompasses a complex network of actors, processes and relationships to do with food production, processing, marketing, and consumption that exist in a given geographical region that includes a more or less concentrated urban centre and its surrounding peri- urban and rural hinterland; a regional landscape across which flows of people, goods and ecosystem services are managed. Thus, a CRFS approach enables to look at the complex issue with a practical lens, and to provide concrete solutions through strengthened rural urban linkages. 

The Food for the Cities initiative has been contributing to increased dialogue and partnerships with institutions at international and national levels, and in particular with municipalities.

A global collaborative effort is emerging to join forces to increase awareness of the importance of CRFS at all levels.

Dgroups Global Network

The Dgroups network “Food for Cities” was set up in 2009 as an online platform offering tools and services that bring individuals and organisations together in the international development community.

The network has grown into a community of practice with over 2500 members from 114 countries, including a global network of experts, from development practitioners to academia, connecting research and practice on sustainable food systems and urbanization.

For more info on the mailing list and to join in the group, click here.