This white paper is a collaboration between the Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) and Arup as a first step in the Urban Eats campaign launched by R-Cities.
In this white paper, we outline our initial view on critical challenges faced by urban food systems today; possible approaches to address or mitigate these; and the key enablers that may help scale a circular and resilient urban transformation. We aim for this report to provide guidance to city stakeholders and key actors in the food system on how a circular economy transition can further their resilience efforts without harming their capacity to ably adapt and transform. as this white paper marks the first phase, we anticipate that the message being communicated in this document will evolve and be strengthened as we further develop an understanding of the intersections of resilience, circularity and food systems through the Urban eats campaign and program respectively.
Lastly, we acknowledge that resilience and circular principles are sometimes in conflict – resilience often relies on building in redundancy where circularity values reducing material use and recycling. However, we believe that a circular economy can play an important part in building resilience to future crises, in surviving shocks and living through disruptions such as pandemics, conflicts, extreme water events, or other climate change related crises. Through a circular economy transition focused on minimizing food waste and developing stronger connections across the value chain, cities can unlock opportunities to strengthen their overall urban resilience.
Urban Eats is a campaign launched by the Resilient Cities Network, which seeks to mobilize its network of nearly 100 cities to take action to improve food circularity and sustainable waste management. By looking at urban food security through a circular and resilience lens, cities can see the critical steps they should take to affect change. The campaign calls on donors and investors to support the network and its cities to develop and implement circular food solutions towards more resilient urban food systems. The campaign will drive partnerships and garner city commitments to eventually develop and implement a circular and resilient food program.