Integrated sustainability assessment of social and technological innovations towards urban food systems

Case study: LED lighting solutions for indoor farming – Bologna, Italy


Location: Bologna, Italy

Typology: Indoor farming – LED lighting

Urban area: Inner city – Building-integrated

Innovation type: Technological innovation

Main functions: Experimental research – Education and training – Resource-efficient food production

Users: Researchers – Companies – Students – Citizens




The LED farming experiments at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Bologna, in collaboration with the company FLYTECH, look for optimizing the design of indoor farms by employing this technology. Different types of light technologies, spectra and crops are tested in this indoor farm lab. Productivity, nutritional quality of grown products, resources use efficiency are evaluated.



 Crops: Lettuce

Techniques: Floating hydroponic in individual plots with artificial LED lighting

Irrigation: Only initial irrigation is provided

Use of renewable resources:

Sustainable practices: Resource efficiency – High crop density





  • Pennisi et al. (2017). Different Red:Blue ratios in LED lighting affect productivity, nutritional and physiological parameters of indoor idroponically grown lettuce. Book of Abstracts International Symposium on Greener Cities for more efficient ecosystem services in a climate changing world, Bologna 12-15 September 2017, p. 119.

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