How can food systems generate better livelihoods in cities?

During the first month of the pandemic in March-April 2020, food systems in our cities and metropolises were put in the spotlight with empty shelves in supermarkets and people with serious problems to access to their basic meals. Though these situations already existed prior to this pandemic, the sanitary crisis made this situation even more complex and urgent. Altogether raised the need to look differently the food systems existing in our cities and rethink how they can be adapted to make them more resilient, inclusive and sustainable.

Many debates exist about how to rethink food systems in cities. With this event, we want to focus on how governments are actively intervening in the food market,

  • to ensure that food is accessible to all
  • to increase the life-span of food products and reduce food waste
  • to generate better livelihoods for food workers (who are generally low-income population)
  • to connect markets through the urban-rural continuum.

Questions to guide the discussion

  • How is your city innovating urban food production to achieve a more sustainable future?
  • How local and metropolitan governments are improving the live conditions of food workers (from producers to cooks, to sellers?)
  • How can we make better livelihoods for people working on food systems?
  • What can of innovations have governments implemented to respond to the emergency created by the COVID-19?


Introduces: Diana Lopez Caramazana, Partnership Specialist, Cities and local governments, UNDP

Moderator: Andrew Bovarnick, Global Head, Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems; Nature, Climate & Energy, UNDP

  • Filippo Gavazzeni, Head of the Secretariat for the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, City of Milan, Italy 
  • Follow up comments and Q&A by the moderator taking questions from the chat (5 minutes)

  • Marina Borgatello, Coordinator of the Strategic Programme for Innovation in Food Quality, City of Rosario, Argentina

  • Follow up comments and Q&A by the moderator taking questions from the chat (5 minutes)

Wrap up comments and recommendations by Laura Valdés, Policy and Research Officer, Metropolis (5 minutes)


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