Meeting the challenges of providing European citizens with affordable, safe and nutritious food and of creating healthier and more sustainable City Region Food Systems raises the need for the development of integrated urban food policies that are able to engage with the complexity of the food system. Today’s leading platform for this endeavour is the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, a powerful global network of learning cities experimenting around, and advocating for, the implementation of a holistic approach to food system transformation. FOODTRAILS, a four-year project led by the City of Milan, brings together a Consortium of 19 partners (including 11 EU cities, 3 universities and 5 prominent food system stakeholders), which will be followed by another 21 worldwide cities, to translate the MUFPP’s shared vision and collective commitment to integrated urban food policies into measurable and long-term progress towards sustainable food systems.
Building on the momentum created by the recent emergence of cities as key sites to reimagine, enact and engage with food system transformation, FOOD TRAILS will provide city and regional governments and other agents of change with evidence-based policy narratives, co-designed and verified through the activities of 11 multi-objective and multi-actor Living Labs committed to addressing the 4 priority areas of the flagship FOOD 2030 framework. Using the existing knowledge on innovations for food system transformation, the Living Labs will co-design pilot projects that minimize the trade-offs between the 4 priorities of FOOD 2030 and that can function as an entry point for the development of integrated urban food policies. FOODTRAILS will also establish a pan-European Investors’ Living Lab to develop innovative financial instruments that will attract new resources to sustain the urban food policies developed during the project, maximize their visibility and support their replicability across the EU.