The Milano Food Policy: An innovative planning model for sustainable food system governance.
Chiara Demaldè

Due to the current situation of economic crisis and environmental alarm together with the growing urbanization process at global level, is becoming more and more urgent to face problems that concern food sovereignty and urban sustainability. In this contest the importance and urgency of taking account the question of food sustainability nowadays has become more central in academic studies of different research fields, as urban planning and governance studies. The interest has grown also by political actors, civic society and consumers in many cities all around the world. The paper shows the case of the city of Milan where the Municipality is working on a food policy project that involves all these stakeholders in an innovative model of analysis and valuation of the local actions.
In the first part, it is presented the Assessment phase where all the data available are collected in a document to understand strengths and weaknesses of Milan’s food system. The analysis offer a very clear vision of the complexity of such work: knowledges of different levels are necessary to depict both the local contest of Milan and to point the components of the food cycle with an holistic approach. Moreover, to have a complete view on the dynamics of the food system it is important to consider the fluxes of energy and material consumed for the food supply of the city. Finally, to understand the complete life and impact that food entails for the whole cycle the report realized presents also the story of some food products. This part is concluded giving a view of the innovative approach in the engagement of academics and local associations sharing their knowledge, data and material that can be a great contribution to obtain a faster and more complete view of the food system.
The second part presents the public response of this food policy: through a public consultation the project and the Report is presented to citizens and diverse stakeholders (municipal and district councillors, the third sector, scholars, the innovation sector, the industry, and so forth). In this part are discussed the implications of these public meetings to raise awareness among them about the food policy and also to facilitate the civic engagement in the valuation of the project.
The third part focuses on one axes of intervention proposed that is based on food education and the importance of implementing sustainable consumption practices. There will be presented the results of a survey designed to identify the factors that affect sustainable food consumption in the city of Milan. The study examines the impact of both contextual and personal factors: socio-economic factors and spatial accessibility, the importance of knowledge and information, values and cultural habits. It will be analysed the degree of impact of these elements and how they form in the city.
The paper ends with a reflection on the critical points of the Milano Food Policy planning model and with a vision to the future evolution that it can have thanks to the Urban Policy Pact. Moreover, it is offered a consideration upon the possible application of an academic study in the governance planning process.