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Food for the cities programme

Governance

Development of a resilient city region food system requires political will and use of available policy and planning instruments (for example, infrastructure and logistics; public procurement; licences; land use planning); involvement of different government departments and jurisdictions (local and regional) and new organisational structures at different scales (municipal, district, etc.). As integrated city region food strategies cross different policy domains, one of the key challenges is to organise the administrative and political responsibility for a city region food strategy. Cities around the world are responding with different governance models varying from a municipal department for food, integrating food as the responsibility of the planning or another department or  establishing a food policy council .

The IPES 2017 report “What makes urban food policy happen” provides insights into necessary conditions for policy formulation at the city scale. Drawing on in-depth interviews and literature scans, it identifies the policies needed to have sustainable food systems in cities including:

  1. The need for robust inter-sectoral actor networks at different levels (municipal, regional, national) as channels for policy influence and the basis for partnerships.
  2. The importance of partnerships between municipal departments and external organisations to allow for co-governance. This requires supportive resources and capacity for implementation.
  3. The determination of formal governance and terms of reference so all actors know what is expected and are accountable.
  4. Conduct research and monitor impacts to demonstrate efficacy, and to identify and remedy unexpected impacts.
  5. Focus on areas of local government control and influence -- but seek synergies with the national level where possible. 

The CRFS process will ultimately help to improve governance of the food system in these various spaces by consistently applying a multi-stakeholder approach and process throughout the various steps of CRFS assessment and planning, through the strengthening and creation of new networks and/or food governance structures,  through the improvement of government and stakeholder capacity in implementing a CRFS process and through promoting food policy design and monitoring (see Policy and planning section).