Food markets as circular digital hubs: Prototyping enabling ICT solutions for urban food systems | Intellect Skip to content
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Designing Digital Technologies for Sustainable Transformations of Food Systems
  • ISSN: 2056-6522
  • E-ISSN: 2056-6530

Abstract

The challenges posed by the environmental sustainability and circular transition of food chains increasingly see the emergence of practices that link strategies and policies to territorial pilot projects that connect physical and digital infrastructures. This aspect is particularly evident in the change of urban production–transformation–distribution–consumption models. They are the basis of a complex system that influences individual and collective behaviours, life within neighbourhoods and the intertwining of incoming and outgoing food flows as the waste flow. The article will discuss the insight emerging from REFLOW, an EU H2020-funded project. It runs from June 2019 to May 2022, aiming to build an integrated approach for developing new participatory design and co-design practices dedicated to innovative and circular urban metabolisms to promote circular solutions capable of bringing environmental, social and economic benefits. In particular, the Milan Pilot involves the municipality of Milan, local makerspaces and FabLabs, agri-food enterprises and other local stakeholders. They collectively worked on municipal food markets to upgrade them into circularity hubs. The Milan Pilot – named ‘Food Market 4.0’ – concerns the design and prototyping of three product–service systems solutions to increase the circularity of the municipal covered markets and their offer service related to agri-food products. The solutions implemented are linked to a data layer that will be the basis of a city-wide renewal process of the 22 other ones. The prototypes could represent some of the building blocks of the datafication of the food distribution metabolisms and the start of a new interactive process of selling connected with other possible service offers.

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC), which allows users to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the article, as long as the author is attributed and the article is not used for commercial purposes. To view a copy of the licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
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2023-04-10
2024-02-29
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