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City Region Food System Assessment and Planning Toolkit Now Available!

Guido Santini
Programme Coordinator, Food for the Cities Programme
Rural and urban crop systems (AGPML) team
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP)

November 19, 2018

We are pleased to announce that the City Region Food Systems (CRFS) assessment and planning toolkit, jointly developed by FAO, RUAF Foundation, and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems in the framework of the Food for the Cities Programme, is now available online.

The CRFS toolkit aims to help local authorities and other stakeholders strengthen the understanding of the current functioning and performance of food systems in the context of a city region, within which rural and urban areas and communities are directly linked. In particular the toolkit provides guidance on assessing food systems and forms the basis for further planning to reinforce and promote the sustainability of CRFS.  It is meant to be a resource for policymakers, researchers, and other key stakeholders and participants who want to better understand their own CRFS and plan for improvements.

The beta version was launched at the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) annual gathering 2017 in Valencia. During 2018, we had the opportunity to improve the toolkit and make available online all the tools that were used in the assessment process in the different pilot cities.

The toolkit is based on the experience of the CRFS assessment and planning process in seven cities: Colombo (Sri Lanka), Lusaka and Kitwe (Zambia), Medellín (Colombia), Quito (Ecuador), Toronto (Canada) and Utrecht (the Netherlands). It provides information about why and how these cities have been implementing this process as well as the outcomes they have achieved. The toolkit contains 45 tools and examples developed and used in the pilot cities and more than 20 additional relevant external tools. The toolkit is a living online instrument that will be enriched and updated on a regular basis as new tools and examples become available.

The toolkit describes the overall approach and the general steps of the assessment and planning process and includes relevant examples. The approach builds on a formalised process of identifying and engaging all relevant stakeholders from the start of assessment through to policy review and planning.

More information about the project including a description of the CRFS process and provides insights from pilot cities can be found here:

In the pilot cities page of the toolkit, you can find the results of the CRFS process for each of the 7 pilot cities. Each page you features different outputs, including factsheets, situational analysis reports, and policy briefs/reports. These pages also feature links to the Synthesis Report, the main reference report describing the assessment and planning process. In some cities, the Synthesis Report is still under finalization and will be available in the website in the coming months.


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