England has no local government structure equivalent to the city region, therefore we have chosen the Bristol City Region, which comprises of the cities of Bath, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, which approximates to the now redundant County of Avon. Bristol is the largest city in the region with around 420,000 residents, with an economy based in aerospace, financial services, defence industries and a large tourism industry. The cultural life of the city is known globally through popular music, street art (it is where Banksy started his career) and TV - the BBC bases its natural history and food programming in the city. Bath is a World Heritage Site and attracts annually about 4 million visitors a year, a large number for a city of 80,000 residents.
Both cities have a lively network of projects and activists promoting local and urban food, but Bristol as the larger city has a more developed infrastructure. The city has a Food Policy Council which is seeking to embed local and urban food into the infrastructure and life of the city. The Food Policy Council brings together community activists, producers, retailers, academics and public health officials with the office of the Mayor to engage with the citizen networks running a wide range of projects across the city. Much of this work is looking forward to when Bristol is the European Green Capital in 2015. With a vibrant and dynamic base of citizen activism without a long history of local or urban food, or an over-aching government structure the city region makes an excellent case study area.
For more information, please see the Bristol City Region Report
on Agrifood dynamics and governance
; and the Case studies on Food Policy
, Short Supply Chains
, and The Community Farm