By Tempi di Recupero
A collaboration with Tempi di Recupero
If we asked 10 Italians where they live, 5 of them would answer ‘in the city’. In fact, 55% of them reside in urban areas and the projection for 2030 is 75%. For as long as they have existed, the póleis have been attractive centers. They convey opportunities and services, with an increase in direct proportion with the passage of centuries, except for the brakes during periods of wars and pestilence, and an upsurge with the industrial revolution and above all after World War II. Throughout the world, cities are home to the majority of the population. It is cities and their relationship with food that represent the greatest challenge in achieving the 17 Objectives for Sustainable Development of the UN 2030 Agenda.
“[cities] occupy only 3% of the Earth’s surface, but produce 80% of CO2 emissions and consume 80% of the available food resources.”
However, we would like to point out that in recent years there has been a slight increase in the number of people, mostly young people, who choose rural areas to live and work. This is all accentuated by the current emergency situation, as we have already seen in the past. The numbers are not sufficient to speak of a true reversal of the trend, but certainly of a renewed interest that contributes to articulating the debate.
To deepen this theme, last year there was a national event called “Food and cities: how to accelerate a sustainable future?.” The event was held at the ‘Festival of Sustainable Development‘ of ASviS – Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development. The speeches of the many guests, university professors, researchers and experts in sustainability and food policies, have stimulated reflections and ideas.
Why the city?
Cities are the place with the greatest environmental impact and the speech by Marta Antonelli, director of research at Fondazione Barilla, provided us with some updated data. Cities occupy only 3% of the Earth’s surface, but produce 80% of CO2 emissions and consume 80% of the available food resources. Obviously, from these data we can see that urban metabolism has a great impact on the entire food chain.
“we must redefine the relationship between city areas, suburbs and rural areas, where what is consumed in the city is produced, because only through cooperation can sustainable development be initiated.”
The health of humans and the planet are linked, and food is an opportunity to understand this link. Human nutrition is an issue that has a direct impact on climate change, biodiversity (land use change), and water resources. If the scenario remains as it is today, the impact is destined to increase significantly – as explained by Davide Marino, professor at the University of Molise. To achieve sustainable development it is therefore essential to implement a transformation of food systems.
Key word: cooperation!
To turn the current situation around and promote concrete change, it is necessary to create networks and food policies involving citizens, as suggested by Andrea Alemanno, head of IPSOS sustainability research. Most of the actors participating in the food chain need to communicate with each other in order to understand each other’s needs and avoid wasting time and resources. According to the President of the Italian Farmers Confederation, Dino Scanavino, an excessive separation between town and country has been created. This acts as a wall at a cultural level, generating incommunicability and poor relations. It is therefore essential to create connections that bring local producers and consumers closer together.
Not only that, we must redefine the relationship between city areas, suburbs and rural areas, where what is consumed in the city is produced, because only through cooperation can sustainable development be initiated. Peripheral areas can be precious to implement productions, for example in abandoned areas, thus mending an interrupted urban and social fabric. On the other hand, the countryside must be provided with services, lived, provided with technologies, as Roberta Sonnino, professor at Cardiff University, explained, flanked by the reflections of Angelo Riccaboni, professor at the University of Siena, for whom it is fundamental to support a social and technological network in the countryside, and to support small businesses.
What is our contribution?
Creating a network that connects those who produce, those who transform and those who consume in an ethical and sustainable way, are all objectives of Tempi di Recupero. And to achieve them we want to involve as many people as possible, starting from small actions. Let’s give food the value it deserves, let’s respect those who produce it, let’s buy, cook and eat in a more conscious way, let’s reduce losses and let’s learn to better manage food recycling. These simple gestures will help to spread a new sensitivity towards food, environmental and economic sustainability!
Tempi di Recupero è una associazione culturale che si occupa di recupero a partire dal mondo enogastronomico, attraverso una rete di protagonisti come chef, osti, gelatieri, vignaioli, artigiani e soci POP che fanno della sostenibilità la loro filosofia.