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Concepts and approaches to building urban food policies

This project, which was implemented from 2012 to 2015, consisted in defining a conceptual and methodological framework for constructing urban food policies. Most existing approaches start with in-depth diagnoses of an urban food system to identify the effects on the multiple dimensions of sustainability: environmental, nutritional, social, cultural, and resilience. They then propose action plans to improve the system. To complement these approaches, the Chair has tested, notably by supporting the Agroecological and Food Policy of Montpellier, a more gradual approach. It relied on both existing urban policy levers, which have been reinterpreted with agriculture and sustainable food objectives in mind, and civil society initiatives that explore alternatives to industrialized systems.

This project, coordinated by the Chair, involved researchers from UMR Moisa, UMR Innovation and UMR Cepel. It was supported by Agropolis Fondation under the Labex Agro framework. It produced a collective work "Building urban food policies. Concepts and approaches”.

In parallel, an international meeting on urban food policies in Africa, Asia and Latin America was organized in Montpellier in November 2015. This meeting was organized in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD), the FAO Food for the Cities Program, RUAF, Charles Léopold Meyer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind, etc. This meeting gave rise to the release of proceedings presenting the food policies of many countries of these three continents.

A synthesis of these experiences and of others drawn from a literature review has produced a book in an AFD series intended for urban policy planners and actors: Food for cities, what roles for local governments in the Global South? (the French title is: L’alimentation des villes, quels rôles des collectivités du Sud ?)

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