Lagoon of Venice

CRFS Lab description

Main aim and objective of the CRFS Lab

The Venice Lagoon CRFS Labs has the objective to construct a Food Atlas of the Venice Lagoon that will collect data and information on the actual food system, highlight innovative bottom-up experiences, and identify new local food policies that could define priorities and opportunities for the different food communities inhabiting the lagoon, in balance with a fragile ecosystem

The key specific objectives, identified needs or problems that the CRFS Lab aims to address
  • Give voice to small producers and the most fragile actors in the lagoon food system
  • Create opportunities for dialogue among food system actors with a view to greater coordination
  • Promote awareness of local and sustainable production, and innovations in terms of food transition
  • Build a food atlas of the Venice lagoon that functions as a living laboratory of ideas and shared work, as well as a tool for the creation and support of new food policies
  • Overcome the distance between touristic flows and local communities through food initiatives.
The primary solutions that the lab intends to pursue during project implementation
  • Green public procurement in support of sustainable regional food chains, aligned with EU political agenda (EAFRD LEADER programme)
  • Promote local initiatives of short food supply chains, cooperation, and positive consumption behavior in Smart villages and towns
  • establishing favorable conditions for both existing and new food chains in the regions thanks to public –private partnerships
  • Promoting innovative territorial business models and solutions.
Living Lab Team
  • Maria Chiara Tosi
  • Marta De Marchi
  • Alessandra Marcon

Lagoon of Venice

The Venice’s food system is largely dependent on imports, although local products are of high quality. Local producers have to cope with high costs and scarce available production areas, with consequences on their ability to compete in a highly touristic context whose environmental balance is now at risk. Venice Lagoon represents a particularly interesting and complex case that calls for innovative approaches to guide the necessary food transition, which is why the objective of the CRFS Labs will be to construct a Food Atlas of the Venice Lagoon.

The Venice Lagoon is an area facing some major challenges: an area of unique food production, high demand for fresh produce, risky environmental and climatic conditions, and an area recognized as a UNESCO heritage site and planetary tourist destination. While until the 19th century the Venice lagoon was an almost self-sufficient territory in terms of food supply, today the high demand for products from inhabitants and visitors requires the import of much food from outside. It is therefore a fragile and complex territory that needs to be accompanied in a food transition.

The City of Venice signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact in 2015. Since then, a number of sectoral initiatives and programs have been implemented, especially in terms of supporting youth and fragile social groups. However, there is a lack of coordination among these initiatives and there are neither programs nor strategies for the future of the local food system.

Today local producers are struggling to stay in the market. They can offer high-quality products from a unique environment. However, high production costs and the limited size of production sites reduce their competitiveness in a tourist hit-and-run environment. In addition, lagoon production depends closely on ecologically balanced environmental conditions, which are currently at risk.

Cities2030 partner organization participating in the Venice Lagoon CRFS Lab is the University IUAV of Venice (IUAV, P38).