Key Issues

Citizens will be supported in developing and supporting local initiatives that self-organise to share learning and skills and trade goods. The idea behind the project is that by supporting self-organising social networks with digital infrastructure, we can increase participation in initiatives which enhance food quality, affordability and access in low income communities.


The key issues that define the purpose of SAFE can be summarised as: 


  1. Increasing participation in self-organised governance to foster social coordination and combat social fragmentation (See here for examples of where this has worked elsewhere). The hope is that this will lead to the people involved in their local food 'ecosystem' having a more coherent voice, which will allow them to exert pressure and influence for change, ultimately contributing to achieving fairer, greener and more accessible cities  
  2. Improving social networking and sharing of knowledge and physical resources (e.g. expertise, tools, time, land) between different initiatives, creating a stronger urban food ecosystem
  3. Understanding how digital infrastructures can help address food equity and overcome the physical limitations of community initiatives by fostering social networks 
  4. Appreciating that the development of systemic approaches requires people and communities to cohere without necessarily signing up to any overarching grand vision


With this in mind, SAFE will:

  • Collectively create a digital 'commons' (hyperlink) in each partner city that provides a communications hub to foster connections across all sector stakeholders 
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary peer to peer learning events within and between the partner cities
  • Take a whole system approach to food across each of the partner cities, encouraging links to be made between individuals, organisations and sectors
  • Support the development of a food strategy in each participating city, without being directly involved in the strategy itself
  • Carry out an evaluation exercise that will support the development of food networks across the partner cities and beyond by producing insights and a series of shared actions