Symbiotic Urban Agriculture Networks (SUANs) are a specific class of symbiotic networks that intend to close material and energy loops from cities and urban agriculture. Private and public stakeholders in SUANs face difficulties in the implementation of technological and organisational design interventions due to the complex nature of the agricultural and urban environment. Current research on the dynamics of symbiotic networks, especially Industrial Symbiosis (IS), is based on historical data from practice, and provides only partly for an understanding of symbiotic networks as a sociotechnical complex adaptive system. By adding theory and methodology from Design Science, participatory methods, and by using agent-based modelling as a tool, prescriptive knowledge is developed in the form of grounded and tested design rules for SUANs. In this paper, we propose a conceptual Design Science method with the aim to develop an empirically validated participatory agent-based modelling strategy that guides sociotechnical design interventions in SUANs. In addition, we present a research agenda for further strategy, design intervention, and model development through case studies regarding SUANs. The research agenda complements the existing analytical work by adding a necessary Design Science approach, which contributes to bridging the gap between IS dynamics theory and practical complex design issues.
- Design research
- Industrial symbiosis dynamics
- Network evolution
- Participatory agent-based modelling
- Symbiotic urban agriculture networks