Can local agriculture save the world?

From New York to Melbourne, from Paris to Cape Town, a growing number of cities worldwide are taking part in a global reflection on the future of local food and agriculture.

The impact of climate change and rising socioeconomic inequalities is forcing municipalities to design their food systems around sustainability and solidarity. Additionally, the world trade disruption caused by the pandemic painfully revealed a heavy dependence on international food supply chains, underscoring the need for local food production.

Held on December 14th, 2021, the first webinar in the New Utopias series explored major trends in local food systems, the social, economic, and environmental challenges to consider, and the concept of “cities as laboratories of innovation,” foregrounding their impact on the present and future of urban life.


  • Liliana Annovazzi-Jakab, Chief of Section, UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section – Forests, Land and Housing Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  • Pamela Ann Koch, Mary Swartz Rose Associate Professor of Nutrition Education; Executive Director, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Filippo Gavazzeni, Head of Milan Urban Food Policy Pact Secretariat, Municipality of Milan
  • Lorenzo Kihlgren Grandi, Director of the City Diplomacy Lab (Columbia Global Centers | Paris) (Chair).

Q&A session facilitated by: Aliénor de Thoisy, Sciences Po graduate student.


The City Diplomacy Lab organized this event in partnership with the Alliance Program, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, and the European Institute. Co-sponsors include Columbia Maison Française and the Institute for Ideas and Imagination.