CRFS Lab description

Vicenza has the ambition to become a “lab for future food“, namely, the point of reference for innovative, pioneering, sustainable and resilient ideas to progressively improve the urban and regional food system under the guidance of the principles, recommendations and actions set at national, European and international level as well as according to the real needs, the emerging priorities and the local stakeholders’ expectations.



The city of Vicenza develops a pilot action to advance the food distribution chain, improving Km0 delivery services and testing new models for food upcycle systems, starting from school canteens. The Living Lab “is established by the LTP “International Library La Vigna. Called ORTOBOOK”, the LAB is a place (the Orto “vegetable market” in Italian) where cultivating the culture of open innovation to improve urban and region food system. The LTP develops trainings and awareness activities to stimulate the raise of sustainable food-chain start-ups capable to derive from the knowledge of tradition and biodiversity, new values for food sustainability. (The LTP, International library La Vigna is located in a premise owned by the Municipality of Vicenza)

Vicenza is a town located in the North-East of Italy, in the Veneto Region (approximately 60 kilometers west of Venice and 200 kilometers east of Milan). With a total area of about 80 km2 and a resident population of 110.790 inhabitants (Dec. 2018), Vicenza is a compact city, from the old town to the outskirts, enclosed in a dense belt especially in north, east and west quadrants. It is located in a diversified territory, rich of urban as well as productive excellence, involved in demanding territorial dynamics that invest the entire area of Italy Northeast. 

It has been part of the Covenant of Mayors network since 2011 and of the Mayors Adapt network from October 2014. 

Also widely known as la città di Palladio (Palladio’s town), Vicenza has been enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994 based on criteria, which are strictly related to the work of Andrea Palladio, the Italian Renaissance architect active in the Venetian Republic (1508-1580). In fact, Vicenza represents a unique artistic achievement in the many architectural contributions of Andrea Palladio, integrated within its historic fabric and creating its overall character. Inspired by classical architecture, Palladio reworked the classical patterns and his constant typological experimentation have exerted exceptional influence on architectural and urban design in most European countries and throughout the world, giving rise to Palladianism, a movement named after the architect and destined to last for three centuries.

The best known buildings are the Palladian Basilica and Palazzo Chiericati, which are located in the city center.

VICENZA ROAD-MAP towards the food-for-all strategy in CITIES2030

The CITIES2030 Project is one of the most recent initiatives integrated by the Municipality of Vicenza into its CRFS, which was already running before the project approval. In fact, Vicenza started the designing and developing of its CRFS on a systematic basis a few years ago; in particular, it started by defining some priorities of reference for the urban policy agenda and by implementing diverse initiatives in the field of food system transformation (FST) and short food supply chain (SFSC).

More in detail, the Municipality of Vicenza decided to initially focus on both the food distribution chain (by fostering Km0 and sustainable low-emission delivery services) and the food upcycle systems, starting from school canteens.

In the framework of the CITIES2030 Project will map and systematize the initiatives and the results achieved so far and will outline its vision for the next years, so to concentrate on those strategic priorities which will contribute at a more effective and efficient food policy, at urban, peri-urban and rural level. More in detail, based on the experiences and results already achieved, on the continuous assessment of the local needs and opportunities, and on the exchange of practices and ideas with the consortium, Vicenza will achieve its objective by focusing in particular on:

  • Creation of a food policy office to facilitate and promote a better governance through a knowledge-based and collaborative decision making process
  • Mapping, assessment, systematisation and further improvement of the relevant initiatives already running at a local level such as the Urban Shared Vegetable Gardens, the Solidarity Food Emporium, the Street Food events, the initiatives on healthy diet and nutrition in the local schools, the awareness events addressed to citizens and consumers, the eco-logistic food transport and delivery through La Veloce and the social restaurant Insieme
  • Development of a vision for the next future and a structured workprogramme to achieve ambitious but pragmatic results
  • Promotion and dissemination of great knowledge and awareness on food related issues through a multi-disciplinary approach and by capitalising on the specialised know-how and longstanding expertise provided by the local Biblioteca La Vigna. For example, the Ortobook living lab will be a place where knowledge will lead innovation 
  • Improvement of the social dimension of food so that food could become a driver for social development and inclusion in particular for people who are marginalised or need to have a second chance
  • Enhancement of the economic and environmental dimension of food so that food could generate economic growth while respecting the environment and minimising the negative impact and possible risks. In particular, greater attention will be devoted to innovative economic actors and start-ups in the field of sustainable food systems
  • Last but not least, activities and initiatives in the field of education on healthy diet and nutrition in schools by involving scholar cafeterias where local products should be more and more promoted and where food waste should be reduced as much as possible, also to support people in need