RUAF Urban Agriculture and Food Systems website

What we do

A worker pulls radishes in one of Real Food Farm's hoophouses
Photo: Real Food Farm

The RUAF Global Partnership supports the development of sustainable and resilient (peri-) urban agriculture and city region food systems. We do this through creating and sharing knowledge, expertise, and good practices, and by providing policy advice, and building capacity within governments and other organisations.

Food as tool for city resilience

Cities play a crucial role in addressing community needs, sustainable economic development and ecological security. Urbanisation is driving rapid transformation of food systems and food security. The world produces more food than ever before, yet dietary diversity is declining and food insecurity is on the rise. Malnutrition (both under-nourishment and overweight and obesity) has become a major urban issue, affecting low income and vulnerable residents in particular, with alarming implications for public health. Meanwhile, cities’ dependence on outside food sources means their food systems are at risk from shocks and stresses resulting from the effects of climate change. A vigorous debate exists on how to achieve a resilient and sustainable food supply.

Food is an effective entry point to improve a city’s resilience. It directly impacts other urban issues such as transportation, health, land use, waste management, and climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Food and food policies feature the agendas of a growing number of cities and city regions worldwide.

Why RUAF is needed

Cities and subnational governments need technical assistance, training, policy and planning and financial support to design, develop and implement participatory (multi-stakeholder) urban and city region food system policies, programmes and projects. Cities need practical guidelines for city region food system assessment, planning, design and monitoring and for guidelines to take action in areas addressed in the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact.

RUAF strives to meet this need.