Youth action for inclusive, climate-resilient urban food systems

Urban Futures works at the intersection of urban food systems, youth wellbeing, and climate action. Operating in intermediary cities in five countries, it supports local partners and especially young people to create more inclusive, climate-resilient cities and urban food systems.

Why food systems need to change now

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 the “triple burden” of nutrition is increasing. At the same time, rapid urbanization 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 issues including climate change, youth wellbeing, and economic opportunity.

Cities also offer unique opportunities

Intermediary cities are growing fastest and will host over 400 million new residents in the next 15 years. Local authorities are increasingly taking charge of issues affecting them. For example, we see cities taking the lead on climate action through initiatives like the C40 and Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. And the UN Food Systems Summit showed the importance of urban food systems transformation, the need for building agency and changing narratives, and the central role of young people.

How the program will enable young people to drive change

Urban Futures supports local partners and innovators, especially young people, in collaborations to build more inclusive, climate-resilient urban food systems while voicing their priorities, influencing decisions, and seizing opportunities in the food sector.

We aim to achieve this through multi-stakeholder collaborations and locally-owned innovations. Hivos is the global fund and program manager, complementing and amplifying these local experiences with linking and learning, advocacy, communication, and strategic coherence. RUAF, hosted by Hivos, supports these efforts with technical expertise, research, advocacy, and policy development.


In ten intermediary cities in Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Period and budget

January 2023 to 2027, €19.5 million

Planned activities

An inception phase in 2023 is localizing the program framework and co-creating city strategies with local partners and experts. As this develops and the program becomes more established, you will find further updates here. Activities will focus on three areas:

  1. Influencing and supporting the development and implementation of transformative urban food policies through multi-stakeholder platforms and youth movements
  2. Shaping new narratives that reimagine inclusive, climate-resilient cities to inspire behavior change and influence consumption patterns
  3. Enabling young sustainable food entrepreneurs to flourish and increase financial flows towards inclusive, climate-resilient cities


The program is managed by Hivos and supported by RUAF Global Partnership on Urban Agriculture and Food Systems and local partners, networks and experts. In Indonesia, Urban Futures is implemented by Hivos partner organization Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial.


Fondation Botnar

About Fondation Botnar

Fondation Botnar is a Swiss philanthropic foundation working to improve the health and wellbeing of young people living in cities around the world. Advocating for the inclusion of youth voices and the equitable use of AI and digital technology, the foundation invests in and supports innovative programs and research, and brings together actors from across sectors to create dialogue and partnerships.