Susturbanfoods

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


Azienda Agricola Floema – Bologna (Italy)

Location: Bologna, Italy
Typology: Organic farm
Urban area: Peri-urban
Innovation type: Social innovation
Main functions: Organic food production – Direct marketing – Producer-Consumer relationship

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HISTORY & CONTEXT

Floema produces seasonal and organic vegetables in an extension of 0.75ha and fruit in a extension of 2ha in Crespellano (Bologna, Italy). Created in 2016, the company is run by four young farmers and innovates in a just-harvested direct selling strategy through social media: WhatsApp and Facebook. The business weekly proposes a list of products, from which customers can order their basket (minimum of 15€) to be received the same day of harvest at their homes. Customers can employ WhatsApp and Facebook for this purpose, ordering the basket the day before delivery. Floema complements they offer of fresh produce with added-value options: flour and preserves, which are produced in collaboration with local companies. 

AGRICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Crops: 60 crops and varieties

Techniques: Organic open-air production

Irrigation: Drip irrigation

Use of renewable resources: Manual harvesting – Organic fertilizer (manure)

Sustainable practices: Pesticides-free (Integrated pest management with beneficial insects) – Local production – Local varieties – Seasonal production – Minimization of packaging use – Use of organic fertilizer from local farms

Other products: Preserves, flour 

LINKS

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Join our Instagram campaign: #mysusturbanfoods

#mysusturbanfoods is an Instagram campaign that aims to collect the ideas and examples of sustainable practices in urban food systems around the Globe. Tell us what makes urban food systems more sustainable and tag us to be featured in the account.

susturbanfoods

Best shots will be included in the final exhibition of the H2020-MSCA Susturbanfoods project in May 2018 – Bologna (Italy).

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January 2018: Training, data collection, and dissemination activities of Susturbanfoods

With the new year, we have started the last phase of the Project, we are performing the Assessment of the case studies while collecting some missing data. In parallel, we are completing dissemination and traning activities around Europe.

Training:

Data collection:

  • Arvaia (CSA, planned agriculture, Bologna, Italy
  • AgroParisTech rooftop garden, third session of data collection, Paris, France
  • New case study: Azienda agrícola Floema (Social innovation, farmer-consumer distribution via WhatsApp), Bologna, Italy

Dissemination:

  • Seminar at AgroParisTech, Paris, France: “Sustainability assessment of social and technological innovations in urban agriculture” for researchers and HEI students

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SustUrbanFoods at the AESOP Sustainable food planning conference – 14&15th November – Coventry, UK

Last week, Susturbanfoods joined the AESOP Sustainable food planning group in the annual conference, hosted by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University (UK), on the 14-15 November.

The concept of the conference was the following:

After seventeen years from its early conceptualisation, and ten years on from its institutionalisation (Van der Valk and Viljoen 2014), sustainable food planning is a thriving transdisciplinary research and policy field bringing together policy makers, academics, and practitioners across the globe. Food charters, food strategies and food policy councils have multiplied, ‘alternative food networks’ have gained significant and growing shares of the food market and new forms of localisation of food production, including urban agriculture, are gaining ground and becoming central components of new food policy strategies.

Yet, the scale and speed of the ‘food’ crisis make us see these achievements as modest and utterly inadequate. Urban food poverty and malnutrition, and the related use of food banks, are on the rise even in some of the most wealthy countries of the world; the most vulnerable populations in both the global North and South are unshielded by austerity politics, food-commodity speculation, land grabbing or staple food price rises. Diet-related diseases (such as diabetes and obesity) are growing at alarming rates among children in the supposedly ‘well-fed’ countries of the world. We still waste between 30% and 50% of the food we produce while millions of farmers and land workers growing our food across the globe are struggling to make a living. And the environmental impacts of our food ‘regime’ and diets are devastating.

Planning for sustainable food production and food provision is more than ever urging us to look for more effective, equitable and just approaches that radically change not only the way we grow food, but the very core of our living space.

In the conference, we participated with a study on how urban agriculture is implemented on vacant spaces towards social inclusion and urban regeneration, presenting the results published in an article in Sustainability (MDPI).

Two case studies of SustUrbanFoods exemplify these practices:

Via Gandusio is a community rooftop garden that was implemented by the municipality of Bologna, in collaboration with the University and the association Biodivercity to foster the community building of the residents.

ViaGandusio

The Spazio Battirame of the Eta Beta social cooperative renovated an abandoned building and the adjacent agricultural space in a suburbial district of Bologna with the aim of producing local and organic vegetables that are sold to Bologna citizens and employing adults and youth in risk of social exclusion.

Battirame

We took part in the session “Urban agricultural planning & design” 

  • Daniel A.C., Aubry C., Colle M., Barbillon A. “Development of an urban agriculture project: “projection” and “revelation””
  • Solman H. van der Valk, A., Pedroli, B “Alleviating tourist pressure on city centres by fostering alternative food experiences away from tourist hotspots”
  • Sanyé-Mengual E. Gasperi D., Pennisi G., Rizzati N., Bazzocchi G., Magrefi F., Mezzacapo U., Centrone Stefani M., Orsini F. Gianquinto G. “The use of vacant spaces for urban horticulture in the city of Bologna (Italy)”
  • Mees C. “Participatory design and planning for food production, shelter and cultural expression: Shared urban gardens in New York City”

During the conference, a Book launch on the topic took place, including the following publications:

 


29.9.2017 – European researchers’ night at Bologna

This Friday 29.9, one of the big outreach events of Susturbanfoods will take place at the city centre of Bologna, within the European researchers’ night (Notte Europea dei Ricercatori).

The Notte Europea dei Ricercatori includes multiple locations with activities and outreach events as a bridge between society and research. Check out the complete program in Bolonga here.

We will be at Palazzo d’Accursio, in the city council building, presenting the laboratory UPCYCLING PER L’ORTO, where common household wastes are transformed into microgardens for allowing the self-production of vegetables in cities.

The LAB aims to:

  • Show to the citizens the horticultural techniques that can be employed in DIY-microgardening
  • Generate awareness on the generation of household wastes and the potential second uses
  • Talk with the society about urban gardening and urban food, in particular by addressing hot debates (e.g., food safety) with scientific data
  • Display images of on-going urban agriculture projects and their sigificance for sustainability

The video of the preparation for the LAB is already availble in this VIMEO link.

See you on Friday evening!


EXTENDED DEADLINE TO 15/02/2018 – Special Issue “Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies” – MDPI Sustainability

If you’re working on evaluating the sustainability of urban agriculture by advancing in new methodological approaches or assessing specific case studies, check out the information on the new special issue of the Sustainability journal:

“Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Methodological Advances and Case Studies”

Guest Editor :Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual

Research Centre in Urban Environment for Agriculture and Biodiversity (ResCUE-AB), Department of Agricultural Sciences (Dipsa), Alma Mater Studiorium – University of Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainability assessment; interdisciplinarity; urban food systems; participatory research design; industrial ecology; life cycle assessment; ecosystem services; geographic information systems; qualitative research; geographic information system; environmental justice

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue calls for papers that contribute to the assessment of the sustainability of urban agriculture, both by advancing methodological approaches and by providing results from case studies. Cities have been identified as an essential element in addressing global concerns, particularly due to the growing population, and food flow is key in the urban metabolism and in the design of future sustainable cities. Resulting from the environmental awareness of the globalized food system and urban social and economic gaps, urban agriculture has grown in recent years aiming at increasing food security while coping with climate change. Urban agriculture ranges from socially-oriented initiatives, which address social gaps (e.g., social inclusion, food deserts) employing low-tech techniques and educational programs, to high-tech for-profit farms, which focus on maximizing yields (e.g., rooftop greenhouse, aquaponics). The sustainability profile of such diverse forms of urban agriculture might consistently vary and contribute differently to the three dimensions of sustainability: Environment, society, and economy. To date, the environmental benefits of urban agriculture as a local production system, the ecosystem services of urban gardens (both environmental and socio-cultural services) or contribution to food security have been evaluated in specific case studies. However, studies covering sustainability assessments of social and economic aspects are limited, as are integrated methods for assessing urban agriculture.

This Special Issue aims at covering this gap by considering papers that evaluate the sustainability of urban agriculture, proposing new methodological approaches, and assessing new case studies that provide new data on the diverse nature of urban agriculture. New methods and data are essential to support decision- and policy-making for the design of sustainable cities. The consideration of the three dimensions of sustainability, integrated analyses, and quantitative approaches are of particular interest.

Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • environmental sustainability
  • social sustainability
  • economic sustainability
  • urban gardening
  • rooftop agriculture
  • life cycle assessment
  • ecosystem services
  • sustainable development goals
  • multicriteria analysis
  • social metabolism

 

!! Do not hesitate to contact me for any doubts or details