City Region Food Systems assessment and planning toolkit

The City Region Food Systems (CRFS) assessment and planning toolkit, jointly developed by FAO, RUAF Foundation and the Wilfrid Laurier University in the framework of the Food for the Cities Programme, has been recently finalised.

The toolkit aims to help local authorities and other stakeholders to strengthen the understanding of the current functioning and performance of a food system 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 the food systems and it 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 it 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), MedellĂ­n (Colombia), Quito (Ecuador), Toronto (Canada) and Utrecht (the Netherlands). It provides information of why and how they have been implementing this process and what outcomes they achieved. The toolkit contains 45 tools and examples developed and used in the pilot cities and more than 20 other relevant external tools that were not used in the assessment processes. The toolkit is a living online instrument that will be enriched and updated on a regular basis with new tools and examples.

The toolkit describes the overall approach and the general steps of the assessment and planning process. For each step of the process different tools and examples are available. 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. This short article describes the CRFS process and provides some insights from the pilot cities.

In the pilot cities page you can find the results of the CRFS process in the 7 cities. Here you can find different outputs: Factsheets, Situational analysis reports, Policy briefs/reports and the Synthesis Reports that is the main reference report describing the assessment and planning process. In some cities, the Synthesis Report is still under finalisation and will be available in the website in the coming months.