IUFN – the International Urban Food Network – is an international hub promoting sustainable food systems for cities. Our work consists in facilitating access of local authorities and decision-makers to the results of international research on this topic.

Launched in 2012 as a non-governmental body, IUFN campaigns for city-region food systems as a relevant driver for the construction of resilient territories. Our action relies on the management of a dedicated on-line open source knowledge platform and on innovative and cross-disciplinary knowledge generation.

Today, IUFN’s work is based on a team of international volunteers, developing and promoting the city-region food system’s transformational potential.




UCLG World Council
November 24-26th 2014, China
Food security conference
December 1-2nd 2014, London (UK)
Adapting food production to a changing climate
December 9-10th, 2014, Washington DC (USA)
Global Forum for Food and Agriculture
January 15-17, 2015, Berlin (Germany)

The global scale of food production in and around cities

A new study quantifies urban and peri-urban food production spaces across the globe.

For more information: http://wle.cgiar.org/blog/2014/11/13/shining-spotlight-urban-farming/

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Published on : 13 December 2014

Organic farming can feed the world if done right, scientists claim

A recently published study reveals that gap in production yields between organic and conventional farming methods is less than previous thought. Additionally, the study (conducted by researchers from the University of Californiam Berkeley) shows that this gap can be reduced even further by using methods such as crop rotation and/or multi-cropping (growing multiple crops together).

For more information: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/organic-farming-can-feed-the-world-if-done-right-scientists-claim-9913651.html

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Published on : 12 December 2014

Food Systems Academy

Develop a better understanding of how our food systems work through this online educational tool. Curated by author Geoff Tansey (http://tansey.org.uk/), video and audio lectures focus on many aspects of our food systems including food security, GMOs, and socio-economic issues. This website is in a beta form and encourages feedback from users in order to further develop its capacity.

The Food Systems Academy can be found here: http://www.foodsystemsacademy.org.uk/background.html

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Published on : 11 December 2014

Book Second Nature Urban Agriculture: Designing productive cities

Second Nature Urban Agriculture: Designing productive cities, edited by Andre Viljoen and Katrin Bohn has just been published. This is a follow up volume to the 2005 book, Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes: Designing Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Cities. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Continuous-Productive-Urban-Landscapes-Agriculture/dp/0750655437)

More information: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415540582/

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Published on : 16 October 2014

New research network on Food Productive Urban Landscapes

A new research network funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, exploring pathways to policy in support of food productive urban landscapes.Titled Urban Transformations: Pathways from practice to policy. We would welcome participation either by attending planned workshops or through an online discussion.

For more information : http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/projects/utppp

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Published on : 16 October 2014

Smart Local Governance meeting

The Committee in collaboration with UN-HABITAT, the Committee on Descentralization and Local Self Government, the LSE Cities Program and EUDEL is organizing the upcoming working meeting that will be focused on the «Smart Local Governance: the challenge of good governance in local administrations”.

The Smart Local Governance includes political and active participation, citizen services as well as the smart functioning of the administration. All of this with the support of new technologies, which enable the introduction of a new relationship between Local Governments and citizens; in particular regarding the introduction of public on-line services and the use of New Technologies to improve the participation of citizens in public decision-making.

The working meeting is structured in 4 thematic sessions where discussions and knowledge exchanges on priority issues within the smart «Local governance» will be carried out:

1. Strategic local public management: Challenges and keys to success.
2. Transparency and citizen participation 3. City intelligence: Big data + open data 4. Modernization of Public Administration and Online Public Services

6-7 November 2014. Bilbao, Spain +INFO:  www.cdc.uclg.org

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Published on : 7 September 2014

Roadmap for a Successful Urban Farm

What do you see here? A vacant lot? Neighborhood blight? Unfulfilled ambitions? Or do you see untapped potential, a plot rich in opportunity? Perhaps a glint of promise for a community camouflaged by trash and overgrown weeds? If your vision involved growing food as a productive way to use these vacant plots of city land, you are not alone. Forms of urban agriculture, such as urban farming and community gardens, are springing up all across the country as the positive impact they can have on communities is being recognized.

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Published on : 22 August 2014

UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-33 (August)

The UrbaChina Newsletter 2014-33 (August) is now published.

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Published on : 22 August 2014

Talkin’ Local Food with University Health Network

The University Health Network in Toronto received funding from the Greenbelt Fund to investigate short and long-term opportunities to provide more local food for in-patients in their hospital network. From interviews and an advisory panel, they have identified 3 long term challenges that they would like to submit to the community for input. They have launched an idea crowdsourcing platform where you can vote on the existing ideas, or add your own ideas for review.

Do you eat food? Then you have an opinion! Join in and unleash your ideas to better connect local Ontario food to the hospitals at University Health Network.

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Published on : 7 August 2014

Retreating from the Public Good?

Near Glasgow there’s a former mining village called Twechar. Inspired by the Incredible Edible movement, they decided they wanted to ‘do a Todmorden’ and turn unpromising public areas into colourful growing spaces. The local authority thought Edible Twechar was a wonderful idea. Not so much because of the enthusiasm and hard work of local people, but because it presented them with an opportunity to try to dump the management of all the village’s green spaces on the local community.

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Published on : 22 July 2014

Brighton and Hove Food Procurement Success

Brighton & Hove City Council is the first in the country to introduce more stringent rules on food buying standards for all catering contracts over £75,000. It’s a decision that will improve thousands of meals per year, will drive local economic development, meet carbon reduction targets and put nutritious and seasonal food on the menu. The standards set are the equivalent to the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark.

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Published on : 17 July 2014

New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System

American Farmland Trust (AFT), Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) are pleased to announce the release of their new report New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System. A sustainable food and farming system in New England is key to creating a region that is resilient, just, healthy, economically vibrant, and environmentally sound. New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System identifies policies that are helping New England grow its capacity to feed itself, policies that are hindering this growth, gaps in the existing policy framework, and opportunities for new policies to strengthen our food system.

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Published on : 17 July 2014

Videos from Feeding Cities Conference, Toronto 2014

Videos, presentations, and photos of the the conference “Feeding Cities: Rural-Urban Connections and the Future of Family Farming” are now available on the conference website. The conference, held in Toronto on June 23-24, 2014, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Centre for Studies in Food Security, Ryerson University.

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Published on : 14 July 2014

Love food hate waste in 10 UK cities

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is coming to 10 cities in the UK over the next 18 months to focus attention on food waste. The Love Food Hate Waste campaign will be targeting Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool City Region, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, reaching over eight million people across the UK. WRAP has gathered support from major retailers and organisations engaged in tackling food waste and will be working with them to deliver events and raise awareness of food waste.

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Published on : 12 July 2014

Food Cardiff brand

Background Prior to September 2012, there were two city-wide partnerships progressing the healthy and sustainable food agenda in Cardiff: the Cardiff Food and Health Steering Group, which drove the health and sustainable food priority of the Cardiff Partnership Board Healthy Living work stream and the Sustainable Food City Steering Group set up by the Soil Association, Sustain and Food Matters to produce a Cardiff Food Charter, which was launched in April 2012. In September 2012 these two bodie…

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Published on : 12 July 2014

Waste management strategy for Toronto

Toronto to provide a framework for solid waste management policy decisions over the next 30 to 50 years. The Strategy will recommend waste management policies and programs, including how to manage any leftover garbage remaining after making use of recycling, composting and reuse options. All options and best practices for new and emerging waste diversion and disposal methods will be considered and evaluated. The goal is to find solutions that are cost-effective, socially acceptable and environmentally sustainable. For more information, visit the City’s website. 

The TFPC is researching opportunities to reduce and divert food waste, and will be participating in the solid waste mmanagement strategy consultations over the next few weeks.

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Published on : 12 July 2014

Ryerson’s Rooftop Garden

Summer students working with the TFPC and Food Strategy were invited to tour the Edible Rooftop Garden atop Ryerson’s Engineering Building on Church Street. The roof was originally built as a green roof in order to reduce energy costs and to help cool the building. An edible roof continues to provide these benefits while offering the additional benefit of food production.

The edible roof began as a pilot project in 2013 with a 1000 sq ft garden. The project expanded this year to 10,000 sq ft and is expected to be completed by the end of June.

The food - In its first year the edible roof produced a total of 250kg of food. This year, the expanded garden is expected to produce 2500 kg of organic food including:

  • Herbs
  • Strawberries
  • Eggplants
  • Lettuce
  • Other vegetables

Food produced in the garden is used in Ryerson’s Harvest Party, an annual event that celebrates local organic food. The food is also sold at Ryerson’s weekly farmer’s market and to campus Food Services. Profits from sales are reinvested into the garden.

The people - There is plenty of excitement and engagement from both the on- and off-campus community. The edible roof is part of Rye’s Homegrown, an on-campus organization made up of students, staff, and faculty who aim to create a closed loop on-campus food system. Volunteers commit a minimum of 5 hours a week to plant, maintain, and harvest the garden. The garden is visible from surrounding apartment buildings and offers residents a luscious green view that is often difficult to come by in urban areas.

A special thank you to Catherine Lung for the invitation and tour!

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Published on : 12 July 2014

10 best cities for urban agriculture

FAO’s last report highlighting 10 latino-american best cities for urban agriculture. Among these figure of course – Belo Horizonte, La Habana, Rosario, but also Ciudad de Mexico. Document only available in Spanish.

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Published on : 11 July 2014

French regions supporting City-regions food systems approach

During the recent conference organized by ARF (Association des Régions de France) – representative body of French regions and the Brittany region, a charter has been signed to support Territorialised food systems development. News in French.

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Published on : 9 July 2014

Join IUFN’s group on LinkedIN

You have expressed your interest in becoming part of an on-line community on sustainable food governance for city-regions. Come and join today IUFN’s LinkedIN group!

This new on-line tool will give you the possibility to concretely participate in the creation of sustainable solutions for tomorrow’s food systems within a growing international community.

What is the IUFN’s LinkedIN group about? Innovation, innovation, innovation!

We need new ideas, we need new approaches, we need new people! Acting as a participatory on-line think tank, IUFN’s LinkeIN group is a place to share original inputs, news, best practices on the challenges related to this strategic issue.

In the next months, this group will be key in the capitalization of IUFN’s Paris Land for Food international workshop, especially the redaction of the ground report on challenges of land use within food security of urban regions.

The launch of the IUFN’s LinkedIN makes the Supporter status on our website redundant. For that reason, this status will disappear and all our web content will be available directly. IUFN will make sure all your personal data will be destroyed.

Join us at on LinkedIN! 

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Published on : 8 July 2014