A better framework for food in urban areas

Each day, 8 million meals are consumed in Paris by its inhabitants. The food system’s autonomy and resilience, including production, distribution, safety and crisis management are essential goals for the City of Paris. As part of a larger strategy, Paris aims to develop new concepts for urban agriculture which explores new means of food production as ways to increase food production resilience to create tighter, more connected communities. Moreover, the strategy seeks to reduce growing food waste among individual inhabitants while also fighting unnecessary hunger amongst minority populations, including poor families, the homeless, migrants, and even students.
 

Key issues

  • Food waste: 53% of France’s food waste comes from the general population (not from supermarkets, restaurants, etc.). This breaks down into approximately 20kg of food waste per French resident, 40 kg per resident within the Ile-de-France, 60kg per resident of Paris.

  • Traffic, pollution, safety: One of the main sources of pollution in France is caused by the transportation of food. Within Paris, where parking and delivery access is limited or non-existent, food transportation can cause serious traffic during peak hours (mornings, evenings), lowering the quality of life and safety of citizens who have to divert around vehicles that are parked in pedestrian walkways.

  • Untapped potential: Despite its urbanization, urban agriculture in Paris could provide local food supplies, increase community or green spaces within the city.
      

Key questions

  • In what ways could we lower food waste from the general population and businesses in Paris?

  • In what ways could urban agriculture, or alimentary solutions, bring together diverse communities living in Paris (e.g. elderly, young professionals, homeless, refugees, students, ex-patriots, etc.)?

  • Are there data-driven solutions that could address aforementioned issues? Similarly, how could the adoption of a long-term strategy for urban agriculture or related initiatives affect the sustainability of food supply and transport in the city?
     

This challenge is best suited for

  • Agriculturalists
  • Data scientists
  • Service designers
  • Urban designers/planners
  • Other


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