Milan Urban Food Policy Pact


15 October 2015

Acknowledging that cities which host over half the world’s population have a strategic role to play in developing sustainable food systems and promoting healthy diets, and because while every city is different, they are all centres of economic, political and cultural innovation, and manage vast public resources, infrastructure, investments and expertise;

Noting current food systems are being challenged to provide permanent and reliable access to adequate, safe, local, diversified, fair, healthy and nutrient rich food for all; and that the task of feeding cities will face multiple constraints posed by inter alia, unbalanced distribution and access, environmental degradation, resource scarcity and climate change, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, and food loss and waste;

Acknowledging that accelerated urbanisation is profoundly impacting our world – in economic, social and environmental dimensions – which therefore necessitates re-examination of the ways in which cities are provisioned with food and water as well as other essential goods and services;


Acknowledging that hunger and malnutrition in its various forms exist within all cities, posing great burdens on individual health and well-being and thus generating major social and economic costs at household, community, municipality and national levels;

Recognizing that family farmers and smallholder food producers, (notably women producers in many countries) play a key role in feeding cities and their territories, by helping to maintain resilient, equitable, culturally appropriate food systems; and that reorienting food systems and value chains for sustainable diets is a means to reconnect consumers with both rural and urban producers;

Acknowledging that urban and peri-urban agriculture offers opportunities to protect and integrate biodiversity into city region landscapes and food systems, thereby contributing to synergies across food and nutrition security, ecosystem services and human well-being;

Acknowledging that since food policies are closely related to many other urban challenges and policies, such as poverty, health and social protection, hygiene and sanitation, land use planning, transport and commerce, energy, education, and disaster preparedness, it is essential to adopt an approach that is comprehensive,  interdisciplinary and  inter-institutional;


Acknowledging that civil society and the private sector have major roles to play in feeding cities, bringing experience, innovation and campaigns for more sustainable food systems and mainstreaming the critical need for a socially inclusive and a rights-based approach in urban food policy;

Recalling that cities have made commitments to address climate change; to promote strategies and actions for mitigating GHG emissions and adapting cities to the impacts of climate change on urban food systems (for example in successive World Urban Fora and the upcoming Habitat III United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development); and to promote sustainable management of biodiversity through city biodiversity initiatives as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity;

Acknowledging that cities and their neighbouring territories will be active in operationalising international processes such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets in the post-2015 Development Agenda; that they will be involved in the upcoming negotiations for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), as well as contribute to the Zero Hunger Challenge, address sustainable urban diets in the Second International Conference on Nutrition, and play important roles in the post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction;


  1. We will work to develop sustainable food systems that are inclusive, resilient, safe and diverse, that provide healthy and affordable food to all people in a human rights-based framework, that minimise waste and conserve biodiversity while adapting to and mitigating impacts of climate change;
  1. We will encourage interdepartmental and cross-sector coordination at municipal and community levels, working to integrate urban food policy considerations into social, economic and environment policies, programmes and initiatives, such as, inter alia, food supply and distribution, social protection, nutrition, equity, food production, education, food safety and waste reduction;
  1. We will seek coherence between municipal food-related policies and programmes and relevant subnational, national, regional and international policies and processes;
  1. We will engage all sectors within the food system (including neighbouring authorities, technical and academic organizations, civil society, small scale producers, and the private sector) in the formulation, implementation and assessment of all food-related policies, programmes and initiatives;
  1. We will review and amend existing urban policies, plans and regulations in order to encourage the establishment of equitable, resilient and sustainable food systems;
  1. We will use the Framework for Action as a starting point for each city to address the development of their own urban food system and we will share developments with participating cities and our national governments and international agencies when appropriate;
  1. We will encourage other cities to join our food policy actions.

Urban Food Policy Framework for Action

The nature of this Framework for Action is voluntary. Its purpose is to provide strategic options to those cities aiming to achieve more sustainable food systems by adopting the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact launched by the Municipality of Milan on the occasion of the 2015 Expo “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

The Framework builds upon the direct experience of participating cities and takes into account relevant diverse commitments, goals and targets. While the options have been organized into thematic clusters, they should be seen as entry points towards achieving the common goal of sustainable food systems. Most interventions (such as school meals or community gardens) may fall under the jurisdiction of more than one municipal agency or department. Most interventions will have an impact on multiple dimensions (economic, social, health and environment) of sustainable development.

Cities can select, adapt and group options into guidelines as necessary to suit their particular situations. Links to related information material and samples of best practices are available as a complementary set of guidance materials.

Click on the categories for the recommended actions

The Pact is available in the following languages