The project

More than 50 percent of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, a proportion that is projected to increase to 66 percent by 2050. How to provide healthy food for everyone in a sustainable way is a challenge affecting especially cities. The right to food is the core of many projects of decentralized cooperation too.

In 2015, the European Year for Development, the EU Commission decided to finance the Food Smart Cities for Development project, which involves 12 urban areas over three continents that will coordinate their food policy and their international cooperation activities until the end of 2016. The project is led by the city of Milan and involves also he municipalities of Turin, Barcelona, Bilbao, Utrecht, Gent, Bruges, Marseille, and some civil society partners:  People’s Expo, Equo Garantito, World Fair Trade, World Fair Trade Europe, Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Fair Trade Hellas, GRAIN and ACRA. The municipalities of London, Thessaloniki, Dakar and, department of Antioquia and Medellin are associated partners to the project.

Food Smart Cities for Development is part of EU DEAR (Development, Education and Awareness Raising) programme and aims to foster the role of the cities in changing the urban food production and consumption paradigm. Reduce food waste, promote healthy eating and encourage the purchase of food produced respecting the rights of people and of the environment, are local actions that can trigger a global change. Starting from this consideration cities and civil society organizations will work together until the end of 2016 organizing activities that will enhance the collaboration to create a coordinated urban food policy agenda and show the potential of the European decentralized cooperation in the fight against poverty and hunger.


The project has three main objectives:

  1. to raise public awareness on the impact of European cooperation policies, with particular emphasis on decentralized cooperation, on food security and on sustainable development;
  2. to strengthen the role of European Cities as facilitators in the promotion of sustainable development focusing on global food security strategies;
  3. to make partners’ cities and CSOs participate to the debate about post-2015 development agenda.


In 2015 and 2016 several local and international events are taking place: Food Smart Events in the partners cities; workshops on Food Policies in the partner cities; the World Fair Trade Week (May 23-31 2015) a 7-day event with conferences, workshops, meetings to discuss topics connected to the Fair Trade movement; People’s Expo (June 3-5), the international forum of civil society and small farmers’ movements; third UNDP World Forum on Local Economic Development, in Turin (October 2015); local events to spread the food guidelines that will come out of the workshops and the other events; the international conference in the framework of the presentation of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (October, 15-16); the final conference in Brussels.

One of the most important goals of the project is to push participant cities to adopt a sustainable food policy by exchanging good practices and building a common framework of actions: the Food Guidelines. Their purpose is to help cities and civil societies to translate food strategies into action. Since European citizens and civil society organizations are key actors of Food Smart Cities for Development, they will be actively involved in drafting and implementing the Food Guidelines.

Building more resilient urban food systems is essential for the sustainable development and in this way foster the debate and discussion on the Post-2015 development agenda.

Food Smart Cities for Development recommendations and good practices

All the cities partners of Food Smart Cities for Development project contributed to drafting the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, which was  adopted in October 2015. In 2016 Cities and CSOs participating in FSC4D  decided to broaden the scope of the initial MUFPP Framework for Action...

The Dakar Forum: fostering cooperation among West African Cities

From 21 to 23 September 2016  the capital of Senegal hosted the Dakar Forum to discuss and share ideas and projects on the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact implementation and sustainable urban development. The forum saw the participation of six West African Cities: Dakar, Abidjan (Cote...

Activities in Barcelona

To implement the Food Smart Cities for development  project a new coordinating group has been stablished between: Barcelona’s City Council (Ajuntament de Barcelona), in particular: the Division of Trade and Consumer Affairs (Direcció de Comerç i Consum) and  Division of Global Justice and International Cooperation (Direcció de Justícia...

Activities in Bilbao

Bilbao promotes a participatory process of discussion and development of guidelines for local food governance involving civil society, citizenship and economic and social sectors that have something to do in the food system of the city. The objective of this strategy is to involve associations...

Activities in Utrecht

On September 26 2015 the Festival “Hier en Daar” took place to raise awareness on the effects of our decisions ‘here’ to other countries ‘there’. The municipality in cooperation with several parties in Utrecht held workshops on different food themes: Fairtrade and local food in catering...

Activities in Milan

In 2015 Milan has adopted its food strategy. The path towards the Milan Food Policy started in 2014 when the Municipality of Milan signed an agreement with Fondazione Cariplo aimed at developing a city’s food policy on a five-year team.. The objective is to coordinate...

Activities in Turin

  Turin was proud to host the 3rd edition of the LED Forum in October 2015. The World Forum on Local Economic Development is launched by UNDP and is held every two years. It aims to gather experts, politicians, administrators, researchers, citizens, students around the issue...