Making cities around the world more liveable for all
  • © ball141030 - AdobeStock

Edible Cities Network (EdiCitNet)

The Edible Cities Network EdiCitNet) aims to make cities more liveable for everyone by implementing Edible City Solutions (ECS). Borderstep Institute supported the European Commission funded project for about three and a half years, helping initiatives, start-ups and those interested in starting a business to develop viable, sustainable business models for the edible city.

Edible City Solutions

ECS are all forms of urban food production, distribution and consumption. Examples include community and allotment gardens, beekeeping, edible green facades, indoor farms, community kitchens, and restaurants serving urban food. By improving climate conditions, biodiversity and social cohesion, these activities increase social well-being. They also support local economies and ensure the sustainable maintenance of local resource cycles.

Integrative ECS ensure both local economic growth and social cohesion. Social relationships in neighborhoods are strengthened through shared activities, and new green businesses and jobs are created. This systematic use of urban landscapes is an important step towards sustainable, liveable and healthy cities. Many different actions around the world, currently still fragmented, are contributing to a global edible cities movement.

Innovative Business Models for the Edible City

The project looked at the whole urban food production chain. Borderstep supported EdiCitNet with practical expertise from the research area Sustainable Entrepreneurship. The offer included workshops on topics relevant for Edible City start-ups. These ranged from basic topics such as financing or location search to advanced topics such as impact management or staff recruitment and retention.

The Borderstep research team also offered 1:1 consulting sessions for selected organizations and start-ups. The consulting sessions focused on specific topics such as public funding. Another focus was on basic questions on how to develop a sustainable business model or how to use the Sustainable Business Canvas or the Edible City Solution Canvas.

Borderstep supported the development of the Edible Cities Network Platform

Supporting the development of the Edible Cities Network Platform was also an important area of activity. This online service is a global meeting place for sustainable urban food systems. Whether initiative or individual entrepreneur, city official or citizen – everyone is invited to become part of a collaborative network. Community members can become visible for their region with their own profile and find new partners and supporters.

Members can also benefit from the experience of the network. They can use the advisory tool to either seek advice or offer their own expertise and support. The online platform also provides the community with a wide range of free publications, information materials and videos, as well as design, analysis and planning tools.

Watch this video for an introduction to the Edible Cities Network platform and services. Learn more

Project results

As part of the project, Borderstep developed a range of resources and publications and created a variety of content to support the Edible City start-up scene.

Our Partners