Developing a local food policy and territorial plan to contrast urban-sprawl, steering synergies between the city and countryside and valorise cultural heritage, landscape and territory

The northern Tuscan Province of Lucca has about 390,000 inhabitants and is characterized by three distinct Protected Areas of European and global significance: a mountainous area (Garfagnana), a coastal area (Versilia), and a densely-settled plain surrounded by hills (Lucca Plain). The historic walled city of Lucca has a concentration of typical urban specializations including services, infrastructures, and tourist attractions. The settled countryside is dotted with important historical villas, rural courts and their associated buildings and landscapes, and hillside vineyards and olive groves.

Driven by a strong attachment to the region and sensitivity towards sustainability issues, local communities have created various successful - but largely uncoordinated - environmental, territorial and cultural initiatives over the years. The Lucca Living Lab, led by the Province of Lucca and the Universities of Florence and Pisa, will collaborate with the municipalities of Capannori and Lucca, local NGOs, urban planners, and citizens to help connect and better coordinate these fragmented initiatives. They will also bring together different regional actors to help create a sustainable vision for the region and develop policies that mitigate rural-urban sprawl, encourage multifunctional agriculture, and preserve environmental and cultural values.

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ROBUST is a European research project involving 24 partners from 11 countries. ROBUST receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988.

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