January 27, 2020
Wrocław is one of the 9 European cities involved in the project, which should contribute to changing the food supply system for city dwellers and - consequently - stopping environmental degradation (according to the UN, by 2050, two-thirds of people on Earth will live in cities).
FoodSHIFT2030 is an international project funded by the European Union under the Horizon2020 program, implemented in Athens, Avignon, Barcelona, Brasov, Berlin, Copenhagen, Ostend and Wroclaw. Each city will undertake activities within so-called laboratories, which will involve testing innovative solutions to global problems.
Małgorzata Świąder from the Department of Spatial Management explains: - Global problems, such as food and nutrition, must be solved locally. Cities are not able to feed themselves, hence it is good to know surrounding areas, verify local and regional producers, product groups and products that are available in the immediate vicinity, i.e. in the so-called city food supply zone. In addition to examining the neighbourhood, promoting local food and local short food supply chains we also have the task of educating and engaging various interested parties – from school students to adult residents. Therefore, the city of Wrocław and the Eco-Development Foundation, with the consultative support of UPWr, are planning systemic, pilot and educational projects connected with the identification and development of urban agriculture.
The Wroclaw FoodSHIFT2030 programme is scheduled until 2023. During this time, the city's food supply zone will be determined, and consumers will gain access to information about where and which producers in the area produce food in line with low-carbon production standards (i.e. not harmful to the climate). Food producers in the region will also benefit because they will receive consultative support and tools to create networks of beneficial connections between themselves and consumers. Determining and examining a food supply zone of a large city is also an excellent source of knowledge for entrepreneurs and decision makers about what we lack, what branches of production should still develop and what products consumers may need.
Projects will be launched to create community gardens in the city – this is one of the elements of urban agriculture which can become a source of vegetables, herbs, fruit for residents, while significantly affecting climate phenomena. Special procedures for establishing such gardens will be developed by the Wrocław municipality, and resident groups interested in their maintenance will receive support in the form of tools, seedlings and expert advice. UPWr and the Eco-Development Foundation are planning to launch telephone consultations, thanks to which residents will be able to benefit from the expertise and experience of a gardening consultant. Scientists from UPWr have not only had the opportunity to check how community gardens work in European urban agglomerations, but they also conduct their own research on the most effective forms of urban crops in our conditions.
Demonstrational and educational pilot gardens will be built at Wroclaw schools - the city council will be responsible for the implementation of this task. Activities within the project are connected to the ones Wrocław has already implemented under such projects as "Grow Green" or "From Grey to Green".
Workshops and trainings will be organized for all who would like to benefit from the knowledge and experience of scientists and activists already involved in urban agriculture projects. Monika Onyszkiewicz from the Eco-Development Foundation, who is responsible for these activities, says: - We want to raise awareness of various groups, promote local short supply chains, integrate local producers and encourage a shift to a more plant-based diet.