Modelling food policies in Italian urban agendas in the time of Covid-19: Experiences, challenges and opportunities

Cities. 2023 Apr;135:104199. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2023.104199. Epub 2023 Jan 20.


Global food systems are broken and in need of profound change. These imbalances and vulnerabilities are particularly strong in cities, where most of the global population lives and that are at the core of the major challenges linked with food production and consumption. The food system transition needs cities as key game-changers towards more sustainable, equitable, healthier and fairer food systems. Against this backdrop, the present article analyses the role of food policies within urban policies, with a focus on Italian cities. In particular, the article discusses data collected from representatives of 100 municipalities across Northern, Central and Southern Italy. Moreover, it addresses the types of policies and initiatives adopted at the local level, the main obstacles encountered, the role of national and international city networks and the impact of Covid-19 on urban food security, with the aim to identify potential models of urban food policies as a structural component of a broader urban agenda. By doing this, the article aims at filling a research gap in current literature, as it is the first large-scale survey on urban food policies in Italy, identifying models of urban food policies that are already being developed within broader urban development agendas.

Keywords: Covid-19; Food security; Italy; Sustainable development; Urban food governance; Urban food policies; Urban food security; Urban food waste.