Urban Food Production: Exploring the potential of urban agriculture for the decarbonisation of cities

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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The anthropogenic demand for food, energy and water (FEW) resources is growing, changing and increasingly concentrating in cities due fast urbanisation worldwide. Carbon dioxide emissions associated with the FEW supply infrastructure makes cities one of the main drivers of global greenhouse gas emissions. Urban food production (UFP) could potentially mitigate city’s carbon emissions by means of direct and indirect emissions cutbacks, respectively through proximity based advantages and recirculation benefits by integration with the urban resource infrastructure. The inherent complexity and comprehensiveness of food production makes it challenging to explore this method during the urban design process and provide holistic evaluations at an early stage.

This research investigates how urbanising the production of food can mitigate the carbon emissions of urban communities. Along the principles of the FEW nexus approach to resource management, a method and platform have been developed that support professionals such as urban planners and designers with the exploration of urban food production in the design process. The aim of this work is to transform cities into more sustainable and resilient places to live. This work hypothesises that urbanising the production of food resources and making urban food production an integral part of the urban resources infrastructure can help the decarbonisation of cities. The objective of this work is to develop a protocol and platform for a non-expert, multi-disciplinary urban design team that can guide the implementation and evaluation of a food production system. The platform, which has been coined the FEWprint, should guide the agro-urban designer during the exploration phase of the design process by providing quantitative feedback on various relevant indicators. The following main research question has been formulated based on the problem statement, hypothesis, research aim and objective: How could the urban food production design process be harmonised with the FEW nexus principles in order to lower the carbon footprint of the city?...
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van den Dobbelsteen, A.A.J.F., Supervisor
  • Tenpierik, M.J., Supervisor
  • Tillie, N.M.J.D., Advisor
Award date3 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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