SLU news

Exploring Urban Food Policy and Food Planning in Skåne

Published: 12 December 2023
Four people smile at the camera behind standing tables at a conference.

SLU Future Food and SLU Urban Futures co-organised two events in November when urban food planning and food policy took center stage in discussions. During the EU Days in Lund, the two platforms hosted a panel and on November 28th they brought together representatives from 33 municipalities in the Skåne Region. Both events shed light on diverse strategies, emphasizing the multi-scalar nature of contemporary food policy and the pivotal importance of addressing food security in policymaking.

EU Lund Days

On 14th November, SLU Future Food and SLU Urban Futures hosted a panel discussion at the EU Days Lund, discussing the importance of urban food policy for shaping resilient food systems. Situated within the broader EU perspective, participants discussed the multifunctional and multi-scalar character of food, where interventions can be shaped at an EU, national and local level to make food systems more sustainable, socially just and healthy. Food security concerns were lifted as a vital component of policymaking to make food systems stronger and more resilient in the face of current economic, environmental and political turbulence, reflecting the broader geopolitical, economic and security concerns shaping European politics lifted in the other sessions of the day.

Integrated food planning in Skåne, Sweden

On 28th November, Representatives from across the 33 municipalities in the Skåne region in Sweden were hosted by SLU Urban Futures and SLU Future Food in Lund to jointly discuss the challenges and opportunities arising from integrated planning for a sustainable food system.

The day kicked off with keynote presentations by Jenny Bergsten, Food Strategist at Region Skåne, Carlos Rojas Carvejal, Food Strategist at Länstyrelsen Skåne, and Anna Kim-Andersson, Project Coordinator for MATtanken at Jordbruksverket. The three keynotes exemplified the unique conditions of the food system in Skåne, which has both an urban and rural dimension, a huge area of primary production, and a diverse culinary scene. The speakers illustrated the multi-scalar nature of food policy and planning, which is influenced by international markets, policy and regulation at the EU, national and local levels, as well as local contextual factors. Examples of various collaborations and networks were lifted, which are emerging around the design and implementation of new policies and initiatives tackling various food system challenges, such as food preparation and sustainable public meals development.

During the first half of the workshop, municipality representatives jointly explored the complexity of the local food system and the organizational challenges of working across departments and sectors. The second half of the workshop focused on developing better collaboration for a sustainable food system and learning from examples of successful food system strategies, policy, initiatives and activities in each of the municipalities present.


Urban Food Planning

Food planning, broadly speaking, refers to the integration of food into urban planning. Food-related issues have historically been absent from the urban planning field, however, an emerging area of research is investigating how food perspectives can be integrated within spatial planning and policy-making in urban areas. Particular attention has been given to public authorities and the policy levers that are available to local, regional and national governments that allow them to influence food systems, such as the establishment of food strategies.

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Food & Cities is a collaboration between SLU Future Food and SLU Urban Futures. The project communicates SLU’s existing research and aims to create new encounters between different disciplines and sectors. The project seeks to identify knowledge gaps and cross-disciplinary research questions and investigates how a long-term thematic focus on food and citiescould be established at SLU.  


Andrew Gallagher, Project Coordinator for SLU Urban Futures
Hub coordinator, Ultuna
The Unit for Collaboration and Development
+46(0)730 55 80 27