- Self-organising Action for Food Equity (SAFE) covered 3 cities: Sheffield, Greater Manchester and Gothenburg
- Addressing a lack of understanding on how best to organise, harmonise and capitalise on the energy of separate food projects in each city
- Goal: learn, evaluate and share insights on how expertise and information in our urban food systems is collected, presented and shared using ‘digital infrastructure’
Sheffield, Greater Manchester and Gothenburg were at pivotal points regarding their food systems, each seeking to develop a comprehensive food strategy. Numerous food-based initiatives and networks existed in each city region. However, like most cities internationally, there was a lack of understanding on how best to organise, harmonise and capitalise on the energy of these separate projects. A significant barrier to such coordination is that food is a cross-cutting issue that spans social, ecological, economic, political, cultural, technical, and climatic arenas, and often falls through the cracks between different areas of urban responsibility. Stakeholders from across the North of England discussed some of the challenges at our Northern Food Network event in 2018, coorganised with Sustainable Food Cities:
SAFE brought together people with different interests and backgrounds to learn, evaluate and share insights on how expertise and information in our urban food systems is collected, presented and shared using digital infrastructure.
The key project aims were:
- Increase participation in initiatives which enhance food quality, affordability and accessibility
- Give a more coherent voice to the people involved in their local food ‘ecosystem’, which will allow them to exert pressure and influence for change
- Improve social networking and sharing of knowledge and physical resources (e.g. expertise, tools, time, land) between different initiatives, creating a stronger urban food ecosystem
University of Sheffield researchers engaged in this project were:
For a brief write-up of the project and its achievements (as at September 2019) see the Realising Just Cities UK report.
You can also visit the co-designed digital commons created as part of SAFE's work or connect with these networks on Twitter:
ShefFood: sheffood.org.uk • @sheffoodsocial
Greater Manchester Food Forum: gmfoodforum.org • @GtrMSustFood