The funding through the European Commission's prestigious Horizon 2020 research and innovation scheme was secured by RMIT Europe and RMIT's Centre for Urban Research.
It sees RMIT join a consortium of 35 research and industry partners across 13 cities.
RMIT Europe's Gareth Macnaughton said the impact of the research project, which is named EdiCitNet: Strategies towards integrating urban Edible City Solutions for social resilient and sustainably productive cities in Europe, will allow new thinking on how innovative food networks are developed and sustained in dense urban centres.
"The research will allow models developed in leading innovation cities to be tried and tested in 'follower cities' to understand how transferable and generalisable the policy and strategies are in a global setting," Macnaughton said.
RMIT has been awarded €400,000 as a partner on the project, which is being led by the Technical University of Berlin.
Macnaughton, who heads up RMIT Europe's urban futures agenda, said nature-based solutions are increasingly being employed in cities to address complex or 'wicked' multi-faceted problems that can have an impact on multiple policy areas.
"It covers a range of areas such as health, environment, transport, social interaction and community engagement," he said.
RMIT's work on the five-year project will include designing the governance framework to enable collaboration across the research partners and cities.
Additionally, the University will drive the development of the project's success factors, metrics and evaluation.
Cities that have shown leadership or innovation in the area of city food networks, irrespective of whether they are members of the project or not, will be recognised at annual conferences.
Story: Karen Matthews