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Forum global sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition • Forum FSN

Re: Call for experiences and effective policy approaches in addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics

Andrea Calori
Andrea CaloriEStà - Economia e SostenibilitàItaly

Milan Metropolitan Food Council

EStà - Economia e Sostenibilità
Independent research center that believes in a robust, systematic approach to sustainability. It works together with government agencies, research centres, economic groups, and actors at local, national and international level about the relation between Food and Cities. 

Main responsible entity

  • Municipality of Milan: the second city of Italy with 1,3 Millions of inhabitants (4 Millions in the metropolitan area) and its economical hub. Milano is in the center of a Padana food valley and is surrounded by the biggest agricultural park in Europe.
  • Cariplo Foundation: private, grant-making philanthropic foundation, with a banking origin, that plays a fundamental role to support social, cultural, environmental and research activities in Lombardy Region (Northern Italy) for sustainable development.


Funding source
Cariplo Foundation and Milan Municipality 

Italy, Milan


  • The metropolitan area is now governed by a new institution called “Metropolitan City” (before it was a Province), and this new institutional framework provides a coordination between the Municipality of Milan and the other 134 municipalities of the metropolitan area.
  • In 1990 the Province created the first Italian peri-urban agricultural park (Parco Agricolo Sud Milano) on an area of 61 municipalities on the boundaries of Milan that cover over of 47.000 hectares managed by 1400 farms. 
  • In 2007 the Province has set up a preliminary policy framework for the promotion of a local food system, focusing on short chains between rural and urban areas. 
  • In 2015 the City Council of the Milan Municipality has adopted the Milan Food Policy and, in this framework, it will develop a Metropolitan Food Council. 

Developing a new democratic arena with focus on Metropolitan Food System with urban politicians, municipal officers, formal and informal representatives of farmers, social innovators, start-uppers, activists, civil society organizations, private sector, academics.

Key characteristics of the experience/process
Definition of new institutional space for debating new complex issues by involving actors that are not represented in the already consolidate institutions to discuss on food issues in a systemic way. 

Key actors involved and their role

  • Municipal officers: connection with other policies and programs.
  • Farmers and private sector: representation of new needs, facilitation of new aggregation on a territorial bases.
  • Innovators: individuation of most innovative food trend and incubation of new economic activities.
  • Activists of civil society organizations: connection with other CSOs projects, education.
  • Academics: analysis and interpretation of different part of food system.

Key changes observed with regards to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture and food systems
Activation of new dialogue among different actors of Milan food system for managing different issues that are directly and indirectly related with food security in a sustainable perspective at metropolitan scale.

Challenges faced 
Food democracy, role of innovative farmers civil society in food system planning.

Lessons/Key messages

  • Importance of the connection between different existing institutions (ex. Municipal Council, Mayoral Board, Metropolitan Council) and new institutions that are specifically dedicated to the governance of food system.
  • Role of informal coalitions of actors.
  • Space for representing interests and needs in a right to food perspective.