27 October 2021

Green urban food innovation takes centre stage in cities' #EdibleCitySolutions

Food isn’t just fuel – it connects us all. Whether in the form of urban agricultural initiatives, underground or rooftop farms, community gardens or healthy cooking workshops, millions of city dwellers around the world are already bringing the food they eat closer to home, and bringing people together at the same time.

How can we make sure that these kinds of interventions, products and services – which contribute to the development of sustainable, green, healthy and liveable cities – get the recognition they deserve? In short, how can we make our cities more edible? In the run up to this year’s World Cities Day, marked annually on 31 October, the social media campaign #EdibleCitySolutions aims to do just that.

#EdibleCitySolutions is a month-long social media campaign to raise awareness of the positive ecological, social and economic impacts of green, urban food system innovation.

ICLEI Europe’s nature-based solutions (NbS) projects CLEVER Cities, NetworkNature and proGIreg are all taking part in the campaign, alongside other pioneering NbS projects, to spread awareness about the great solutions being implemented in their cities. Many of these food system innovations are green, nature-based solutions, like urban food forests or green walls featuring edible plants, which are inspired by and work in harmony with nature. As well as strengthening local food provision in cities, they also help tackle a whole range of challenges, including improving air quality, boosting biodiversity, reducing the risk of flooding, and lowering temperatures by fighting the heat island effect.

What's more, these initiatives strive to be inclusive and participatory, and thus help tackle social challenges. School gardens and community kitchens, for example, engage and generate opportunities for socially-marginalised communities, and foster senses of belonging in cities.

Food system innovations can also help tackle economic challenges and support local green economies, by creating dynamics conducive to new green businesses and jobs. For example, businesses can sell products grown in urban farms, offer composting services, or even organise events in community garden spaces.

Want to join the campaign? Share an image of food system innovation in your city on your Twitter or Instagram profile – and tag it using the hashtag #EdibleCitySolutions.

Be sure to follow the #EdibleCitySolutions hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to explore the ways that sustainable food system innovations make our cities greener, healthier and more socially resilient.