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Urban Futures: Youth action for inclusive, climate-resilient urban food systems
Enabling liveable and sustainable city systems

Building sustainable food systems for the future

Urban Futures is a five-year global programme, begun in 2023, working at the intersection of urban food systems, youth wellbeing, and climate action. Recognising that our current food system is not meeting the needs of people or the planet, Urban Futures is working to build inclusive, climate-resilient food systems in and around intermediary cities in five countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

With political decentralisation increasing the ownership and responsibility of local authorities, cities are empowered to address the climate crisis, malnutrition and economic inclusion through transformative urban food policies. Urban Futures aims to create localised food systems that provide healthy, sustainable, and affordable food to communities, while engaging young people to share perspectives, influence decision making and benefit from opportunities in the food sector.

The full aims of the Urban Futures programme are to:

  • Influence and support the development and implementation of transformative urban food policies through multi-stakeholder platforms and youth movements.
  • Shape new narratives that reimagine inclusive, climate-resilient cities to inspire behaviour change and influence consumption patterns.
  • Enable young sustainable food entrepreneurs to flourish and increase financial flows towards inclusive, climate-resilient cities.
  • Columbia
  • Ecuador
  • Indonesia
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


Our current food systems are not meeting the needs of people or the planet. Food systems are responsible for 34% of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet malnutrition is increasing. At the same time, rapid urbanisation will result in 68% of the world’s population living in urban areas by 2050. As cities already consume nearly 80% of all food, urban food systems have a major local and global impact on climate change, youth wellbeing, and economic opportunity.


Intermediary cities are growing rapidly and will host over 400 million new residents in the next 15 years. Political decentralisation is empowering cities to take charge of issues affecting them. 

Urban Futures invests in local food networks in and around 10 intermediary cities across five countries in order to simultaneously take actions addressing the food crisis and the climate crisis, and to create opportunities for underserved and growing urban youth populations.


“Hello, I’m Melony, residing in Cali and actively engaged in the Urban Futures programme. In our city, hunger stands as one of the primary challenges we face. I am deeply committed to leveraging the power and responsibility vested in us, the youth, to forge a transformative future. I firmly believe that it is within our capacity to cultivate innovative solutions that pave the way for a city characterised by peace and abundance.

My vision is simple yet profound: I dream of a city where the harsh reality of going to bed hungry is eradicated entirely. Together, through our collective energy and dedication, we can turn this dream into a tangible reality.” 

Melony Laclé
See 2023 highlights in Fondation Botnar’s annual report
The Future Now.
For Young People

Fondation Botnar
St. Alban-Vorstadt 56
4052 Basel
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