The action and its aims
The cities of Pune and Birmingham are working bi-laterally on the ‘Nutrition Smart City’ initiative to develop policies, practices, and pilot programmes that accelerate reduction of all forms of malnutrition. The initiative is based on citizen engagement and draws on evidence from cities elsewhere around the world.
Why it was needed
The partnership came about following Birmingham’s signature of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. In 2016, signatories were encouraged to develop inter-city partnerships between the global North and South for joint learning and experience sharing. In Birmingham, the Indian population is disproportionately represented among overweight or obese residents. In India, meanwhile, rapid urbanisation is linked to dietary transition as people are exposed to new sources of unhealthy food through supermarkets, street vendors and fast food outlets, with low-income groups particularly affected.
Who initiated it, who is involved
The City of Birmingham and think tank The Food Foundation instigated the partnership with Pune Municipal Corporation Food Foundation leads the initiative, which is funded by Tata Trusts and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through its ‘Maximising the Quality of Scaling Up Nutrition Plus (MQSUN+)’ project.
Outcome/how it strengthened coordination
As a result of the partnership Birmingham and Pune have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to consider specific powers at their disposal to support people to make healthier food choices out of home. This includes: leveraging public procurement to provide healthier food in public settings; using city infrastructure for more promotion of healthy food / less of unhealthy food; exploring how policy levers for business and skills development can shape a healthier food environment; identifying data to inform policy decisions. The cities are also supporting each other with citizen engagement initiatives.