Milan, December 2020 - Food Wave - Empowering Urban Youth for Climate Action goes live, the innovative project launched by the Municipality of Milan to inform more than 15 million young people between the ages of 15 and 35 about the food-climate link and actively involve thousands of boys and girls through events, activism schools, training for urban and peri-urban agriculture, discussion forums and creative activities such as art competitions and audio-visual productions. Youth, environment, and solidarity are the three main ingredients of the Food Wave recipe to create a new alliance between citizens of the future, local communities, and mayors to design a new perspective for urban growth.  The initiative will see the Municipality of Milan at the centre of a network of 30 partners in 17 countries and 21 cities (including London, Madrid, Warsaw, Frankfurt), São Paulo and 11 civil society organisations including NGOs such as ActionAid Italia, ACRA and Mani Tese. C40, the international network of cities involved in the fight against climate change, is partner of the project.


The aim is to pass on to the younger generation the importance of adopting sustainable practices in urban food production and consumption for climate change mitigation. The project, funded with ca. 8 ml of Euros by the European Commission through the DEAR (Development Education and Awareness Raising) programme, aims on the one hand to stimulate activism among the under-35s and on the other to encourage dialogue with institutions to promote the global transition to a sustainable food system by 2030.


"Establishing a group of urban farmers through the creation of a generation of citizens aware of the impact of food on climate change - explains XXXXXX - will lead young people and not only to become ambassadors of other initiatives of our Municipality. Milan is the leader of the project and is a candidate to launch a new trend on an international level: transforming disused areas into a system of urban and peri-urban agriculture and generating awareness of social, ecological and redevelopment activities, in other words, territorial economy. Young people will be able to become the actors of a real revolution, which starts from them and their work and which, through educational and social activities, can stimulate the birth of economic initiatives related to food".


The numbers of Food Wave. The numbers of the Food Wave project are impressive. A total of 23 schools of activism throughout Europe will participate, which in turn will involve over a thousand young people. There will be hundreds of training activities and workshops in the 17 countries involved in the project, international discussion forums, community actions aimed at activating young people in urban spaces, including peripheral areas. At the same time, the whole project will be accompanied by an international digital promotion campaign and the involvement of a network of over 40 influencers


The survey. According to a research promoted by Food Wave in recent months, the issues of climate change and the role of urban food policies are very much felt. 40% of young Europeans fully perceive the importance of environmental issues even though only 1 in 4 young people show a high awareness of the link between food and climate and more than 70% of young people believe that consumers can play a decisive role in reducing the impact of food on the environment.


Food Wave between past, present and future. The Food Wave project has already had an interesting experience with the RISTECO campus in France while the online edition of the school of activism in Milan, which ran over four weekends and was attended by more than 30 young people, is in the finishing straight. The first call street action in Milan is expected to be launched by 2020, as well as workshops and involvement activities in youth centres. In 2021, on the other hand, an international call for ideas is planned for associations active at local level, with useful contributions to finance projects in the area.