Thankfully, this year’s annual meeting could finally be held in person, after Covid-19 restrictions forced the last two meetings to be online. Consortium members from ten different countries and a total of thirty partner organizations met in Ljubljana at the beginning of September. The four-day event, jointly organized by the University of Ljubljana and the Šempeter-Vrtojba City Team, offered a varied program which perfectly balanced presentations, workshops and field trips.
The first day started with a welcome lunch, followed by presentations on the current state of work of all work packages. On the second day, thanks to the Pecha Kucha presentations that the City Teams had prepared, participants could learn, how the project is evolving in both Follower and Front Runner cities. Following the presentations, different work packages facilitated workshops on their topics and then there was a talk by a representative of the City Municipality of Ljubljana, who explained what the city’s strategy for urban agriculture is. We concluded the day with a visit to two urban gardens and a boat tour.
Early in the morning of the third day, attendees got on a bus which took them to Šempeter, where we visited a state-of-the-art waste water treatment plant, the biotechnical school and the municipality. On the way back to Ljubljana, we stopped at the Ajdovščina polygon, where we saw how they experiment with crops to find out the suitability of treated waste water for irrigation.
The last day was dedicated to brainstorming what the Edible Cities Network will look like after the life of the project and how best to ensure its continuation. We headed back home tired from the intense experience, but with lots of newly learned things to reflect on, happy to have seen our colleagues after so long and motivated to keep working towards a more sustainable and resilient urban future!