The General Assembly & the Lab Festival in Haarlem: a successful collaboration opportunity for Cities2030 partnership

The General Assembly & the Lab Festival in Haarlem: a successful collaboration opportunity for Cities2030 partnership

Thursday, March 2, 2023

A three-day programme aimed to stimulate personal interaction between consortium members carefully designed to build professional working relations and expand and strengthen networks across city-region food systems and external partners.

During the week of 22-24 February 2023, the Institute of Environmental Studies and the Municipality of Haarlem,  the Cities2030 Dutch partners, hosted more than 70 representatives from the 44 partner organizations which participated in presence in the 2nd project General Assembly and the Lab Festival.

On the first day, the meeting of the consortium started with a dedicated General Assembly, which took place in Amsterdam. The day was kick-started by the Project Coordinator, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (UNIVE). The full-day programme included several presentations and updates by the work package leaders focusing on the progress made so far, the project challenges, and accomplishments.

On the second day, the Policy Lab Festival took place in the Koepelhal, the impressive landmark venue for the City of Haarlem. The programme included a Poster market hosted in the former prison cells and six different workshops held by Cities2030 partners and externally invited organizations. It was the work in the Labs, the real focus of the day. The Festival itself celebrated the results achieved so far by the project. Looking at the 18 Posters, it was evident to all participants the hard work of Cities2030 Labs in connecting and engaging stakeholders since the project started, improving local actors’ and decision-makers’ knowledge, designing many initiatives for education and awareness raising to foster capacity building and empowerment of local stakeholders. The posters provided a concrete picture of how all Labs share the vision for evolving the local urban food policies and food ecosystem, allowing and multiplying these effects all over the 19 European countries represented in the project. 

The last day was dedicated to the Haarlem City-region food system. The program included an inspiring workshop in the community garden of Kweektuin. In the afternoon, the participants had the chance to explore various local initiatives that work closely together with the Cities2030 Haarlem Lab led by the Municipality.

Beyond the long working hours, which will boost the project activities implementation through the second period, the real great success was the professional and human relationships created during the three very intense days, which all participants will remember with great pleasure for the years to come.