Lazio Region is proud to host the second International Conference on Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society in Rome, as part of the programme Lazio Expo 2015. The Conference will focus on reconnecting agriculture and food chains to societal needs. Over four days the world’s leading researchers and scholars will discuss on the most innovative aspects of multifunctionality in agriculture and on the connections and relationships between urban and rural worlds.
Rome well represents the complexity and contradictions of the interconnections existing today between the development of urban and rural areas, being a perfect laboratory for the Conference works. Rome was the largest agricultural municipality in Europe until 1992; 2/3 of its urbanized surface has been build up in the last 50 years; today agriculture seems to be again a key issue for the city, with young people asking municipality and Region for agricultural land to work in.
We are perfectly aware of the key role that agriculture can play as a driving-force, both economically and socially, for Lazio Region. Just to name a few, agriculture can promote social cohesion and contribute positively to boost economic activity and job creation, can help us to improve citizens’ wellbeing and quality of life, promoting a healthy lifestyle and encouraging involvement in the social and leisure activities in the cities, can protect our environment and safeguard biodiversity, produce safety food for growing cities like Rome is.
Consequently, we strive to make our agricultural system competitive, modernizing its facilities and renovating its services whilst preserving their rich traditional food heritage. To achieve these objectives we need an international comparison, dissemination of knowledge and research results, collaboration between public and private sectors. In a word: we need real social innovation; for this reason hosting the Conference is for our Region a precious opportunity.
We’re also pleased and proud that Conference participants will have the opportunity to spend an entire day visiting the experiences of farmer’s markets, community gardens, social farming and use of public lands in Rome and Lazio, led by experts able to illustrate their main aspects. This is a smart way for sharing our territory best practices’ with the Conference scientific community.
For all these reasons, I invite all the Conference’s participants to visit our city and Region, with the hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do!
President of Region Lazio