Urban Food Actions Platform

Food policy integration in small cities: The case of intermunicipal governance in Lucca, Italy

Author: by Sarbina Arcuri, Bianca Minotti and Francesca Galli
Publisher: Journal of Rural Studies

Food and food security are not areas where municipalities have roles prescribed by law; nonetheless, they are responsible for a range of overlapping services and functions related to food. Competences for policymaking are divided across many different departments, local authorities, and agencies whose functions involve multiple actors, and both scholars and policymakers have called for a more integrated approach to food policies and for cities to play a prominent role in addressing food system challenges through new, place-based, and carefully crafted governance systems. In this study, we examined a unique case study and process that led to the establishment and further development of the first intermunicipal food policy (IFP) in Italy, called Piana del Cibo (literally “Plain of Food”), a governance arrangement through which five municipalities within the province of Lucca (in the Tuscany region, central Italy) reach out beyond their administrative and functional boundaries. Despite the food policy agenda in Lucca being currently underway, this research contributes to a deeper understanding of the possible pathways of policy integration and of the implications of such processes in small cities, highlighting potential enablers and obstacles to integration. The findings indicate that the governance structure currently tested is an institutional unicum in the Italian food policy landscape and is shaped as joint management of food policy functions (gestione associata) combined with an elaborate structure of participatory governance. The presented case study illustrates how a process of (food) policy integration should be understood as processes entailing different and mutually interacting dimensions. It also showcases a set of factors that can reveal potential enablers and obstacles in such processes.

Topic: Governance and planning
Tags: Multi-stakeholders working groups
Organization: Journal of Rural Studies
Author: by Sarbina Arcuri, Bianca Minotti and Francesca Galli
Year: 2021
Type: Academic Literature
City (Country): Italy
Region: Europe
Resource format: Document
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