Edited on 26/04/2022

The FACTS! Conference, first  international gathering foreseen within the EFUA Horizon 2020 project, took place online on 29-30 March 2022. The partner Risorse per Roma (municipal agency of Rome), organizer of the conference in collaboration with FAO, hoped to host partners and participants in Rome but monitoring of the Covid-19 situation both in Italy and in the rest of Europe led the organizers to shift to the online format. Over 260 registered participants from all over the world and professional backgrounds (European Commission, international organizations, NGOs, regional and local governments, research centers, universities, agriculture and farming associations, civil society representatives) participated in the conference and followed the contributions of 38 speakers.

The aims of the conference were to collect, conceptualize and highlight local and global experiences of Urban Agriculture - starting from Rome - and to open the door to further networks and activities, particularly in Less Developed Countries.

EFUA aims at increasing knowledge and awareness of the discipline of Urban Agriculture and its potential to deliver multifunctional Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project will create and develop the UA Platform, a web based interface aimed to increase stakeholder participation and dialogue, a space where best practices and guidelines will be shared among practitioners. It is exactly here where RU:RBAN comes in place: the good practice of Rome and the transfer process methodology to 10 EU cities (A Coruña, Caen, Krakow, Loures, Thessaloniki, Vilnius, Alexandroupolis, Algeciras, Carlow and Split) play a fundamental role within EFUA as they provide the academia and research partners the knowledge, expertise and data gathered by the RU:RBAN network on which to build their research activity towards the creation of the forum.

RU:RBAN partners participated in the conference, Ms Paola Marzi of the Municipality of Rome and Ms Marlene Marques of the Municipality of Loures were among the guest speakers to present the RU:RBAN experience in both cities during the session dedicated to “Practice-governance models in Urban Agriculture”, chaired by Prof. Dona Pickard of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Sofia, partner of EFUA. The session focused on the practice-governance matrix that is being built through the research on the existing practices in place across the EU…hence the fundamental role of the experience gained by the RU:RBAN cities. Together with Rome and Loures, the cities of Oslo and Sofia also presented their approach to urban agriculture towards the development of more sustainable development plans for their cities.

The conference was the stepping stone towards the building of the European Forum on Urban Agriculture, a process that can’t be fulfilled without the active role of RU:RBAN.

Submitted by Patricia Hernandez on 26/04/2022
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Patricia Hernandez

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