FOODE: Creating sustainable food systems for European Cities

Prototyping citizen-centered urban agrifood systems.

Through 15 European pilots, this 4-year project will explore citizen-driven urban food initiatives which are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. FOODE will enable the development and testing of innovative business models and best practices on sustainable food initiatives calibrated to local needs. The project also aims to expand urban food innovation through a pan-European educational network that is focused on accelerating knowledge sharing of sustainable food practices.

  • Funder: EU Commission

  • Grant Agreement: N°862663

  • Partners: UniBO (Coordinator)  Fachhochschule Sudwestfalen, Commune de Romainville, Stichting Wageningen Research, Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung gGmbH,  Hague Corporate Affairs BV, Comune di Bologna, Comune di Napoli, Municipality of Lansingerland, Ajuntament de Sabadell

  • Date: February 2020 – February 2024

This project has received funding from the EU Commission under grant agreement N°862663

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The challenge

Cities are continuously growing and are facing challenges in providing affordable, nutritious, and safe food for their residents without crossing planetary boundaries. Today, European cities are overwhelmingly net importers of food, and over the last decades citizens have been increasingly disconnected from their food sources. Local initiatives taking place in cities bring about the opportunity to enhance local food security and create local supply chains, yet these initiatives often face cultural, economic, policy, and environmental barriers that hinder their ability to establish themselves and scale.

The challenge
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Our approach

Metabolic Institute will lead the development and implementation of an open-source aquaponic farm based on De Ceuvel in North Amsterdam. This pilot aims to be a showcase and educational center for urban food production. It will test both high-tech and low-tech solutions by integrating different grow systems and developing an aquaponics management software system designed for inexperienced growers. Located at De Ceuvel, a former brownfield and industrial shipyard turned into a living lab for circular urban development, the pilot project will first focus on the enlargement of De Ceuvel’s existing aquaponics system in order to realise a stable and marketable production of fish and vegetables for the local customers. The aquaponics greenhouse will then serve as a space for training and dissemination of aquaponics techniques, and allow local citizens to design, build and manage their own small-scale aquaponics units.

Our approach
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The outcome

FOODE will enable the development and scaling of context-specific solutions that foster sustainable food and nutrition security in European cities. Through its 15 pilots and the development of a rigorous sustainability assessment framework, FOODE will ensure that the most advanced technological solutions available in the EU are maximized for their environmental, social, and economic sustainability and will foster the dissemination of innovative best practices so that the current and the next generations are educated and engaged in their city-region food systems.

The outcome
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Research Director

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