Food security is a major concern of our time. Traditionally considered a rural issue, food is now regaining visibility in the urban agenda. The need therefore arises to better understand urban food systems and design them in more sustainable ways. The Circular Economy (CE) appears to be a suitable starting point in this direction. Increased resource productivity, waste valued as a resource, use of nutrients in cascades and celebrating diversity are some circular economy principles that can be used for imagining new sustainable urban food systems.
Adopting an expanded urban metabolism approach, this study will systematically describe urban food systems of European cities and assess their environmental and socioeconomic impacts. Trade-offs between environmental and socio-economic aspects, as well as across sectors and scales will be carefully considered and analysed. Based on the analysis, scenarios of more circular food system for these cities will be developed, assessed and compared with the status quo. The ultimate objective is to understand if more circular urban food systems are more sustainable and if so, how to facilitate the transition towards them.