This is a long-term project to develop a city food policy that will be a support tool for governance. The policy’s aim is to systematically integrate information and projects relevant to support citizens in activities associated with the production, use, consumption and disposal of food. In this context, it is expected to facilitate increased food quality, allow for increased equal access, reduce environmental impacts and encourage the correct distribution of economic value.
There is no direct focus on gender, ethnic and socio-economic diversity, but the project is attempting to be inclusive and open to diverse perspectives: consultation and engagement platforms are being developed with the active involvement of citizenry and diverse stakeholders (scholars, industry, innovators, municipal and district councillors, and so forth). More focus is given to the diversity of research topics, which will naturally result from the broad range of stakeholders involved.
This project will map existing practices, knowledge and research regarding food and food disposal. At this stage it is working to address the risks associated with misinformation about these issues by closing knowledge gaps and modifying ways of thinking.
The project is actively working to facilitate communication across different stakeholders and include stakeholder feedback in the policy’s development. Thus, it is actively responding to developing knowledge and mapping changes occurring within the Milano area and facilitating inclusion rather than reacting to external factors.
Since the project is in its infancy, it is not yet possible to comment on the effective outcomes of this policy. Plans include identification of 8–10 thematic fields, with specific concepts and guidelines, which will be evaluated by participants during two preparatory sessions, ultimately leading to government implementation of an Urban Food Policy Pact.
The inspirational component of this project mostly concerns the upfront inclusion of citizenry in the development of policy. Inclusion and diversity, hence, is the most valuable element. This project appears especially valuable because it tries to create a number of different opportunities for civil society in general, as well as all the other stakeholders implicated in the food chains (researchers, industries, etcetera), to participate with their personal insights in defining the policy agenda and content.
Though the project is still in the early stages, participants in the direction and exploration stages have described the project as especially innovative in how it encounters certain cultural as well as practical challenges. New RRI practices have to consider a possible lack of awareness and understanding about the issues related to RRI within the audience of stakeholders.