SustUrbanFoods

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


Outreach events: Participation in the first meeting of the “Aquaponics network of North Rhine-Westphalia”

Yesterday 18th May, SustUrbanFoods joined the first meeting of the “Aquaponics network of North Rhine-Westphalia” to talk about the sustainability of aquaponics and the case studies of aquaponics systems within the project.

The event was organized by Aufbruch am Arrenberg, the association die Urbanisten and the SWUAS university within the framework of the ERASMUS+ Urban Green Train project, as a multiplier event.

The goal of the event was to exchange expertise and experiences between the administration, aquaponics companies, associations and NGOs, service companies and academics of the sector. The three axis of the meeting were the following:

  • How can aquaponics contribute to sustainable food production?
  • Which social and labor market-relevant opportunities open up?
  • Which bodies are involved when an urban aquaponics project is to be implemented?

AGENDA:

  • 9:00 am Get-together
  • 9:30 am Welcome
  • 9:50 am What is Aquaponik – Rolf Morgenstern
  • 10:00 am The Urban Green Train Project – Bernd Pölling
  • 10:20 am Sustainability of Aquaponics – Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual
  • 11:00 am Break and exchange
  • 11:30 am Climate Expo – Michael Walther
  • 11:40 am The Aquaponik Verband – Mandy Schreck
  • 12:00 hrs Aquaponik Manufaktur – Ingo Bläser
  • 12:10 am Integrated Pest Management – Dr. Peter Dapprich
  • 12:30 am Aquaponics and Social Work – Yvonne Fischer
  • 12:50 pm lunch break and exchange
  • 1:45 pm Panel discussion: Mandy Schreck, Jörg Heynkes, Rolf Morning Star, Peter
    Dapprich, Mrs. Bonitz (?)
  • 2:30 pm The project Arrenbergfarm – Jörg Heynkes
  • 14:40 h Plantastik – Niels Rehkop
  • 14:50 am Aquaponics at the FH Soest – Rolf Morgenstern
  • 15:10 Food Safety – Dr. Eberhard Büker
  • 15:30 h Plant Nutrition – Wolfgang Grüne
  • 15:45 Coffee and closing day


SustUrbanFoods in the AESOP Sustainable food planning workshop for PhD and Young scientists: Making, measuring and re-thinking sustainable food systems

The AESOP Sustainable food planning PhD and Young professionals group aims to bring together academics, policy-makers and practitioners from an international audience that are at the beginning of their career.

These days they organized the AESOP SFP Workshop for PhD and Young professionals in Berlin with the aim of helping young researchers and practitioners to build a network in the field that can lead to future collaborations and develop a multidisciplinary and international participation at the AESOP SFP Conferences.

In the framework of the SustUrbanFoods Project, the results from the participatory workshop were presented in the MEASURING SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS track, leading into an interesting discussion on:

  • what is sustainability?
  • who defines sutainability?
  • how can we measure social sustainability?
  • why should we measure it?
  • how is that important in policy-making?

AESOP_workshop

Program “Making, measuring and re-thinking sustainable food systems”

23 March 2017

  • 12:30 – 13:30 Welcome and Opening Remarks
  • 13:30 – 14:30 Key Note Speaker: Katrin BOHN
  • 14:30 – 14:45 Break
  • 14:45 – 16:15 Parallel Sessions on Making, Measuring, and Rethinking Sustainable Food Systems
  • 16:15 – 16:30 Coffee Break
  • 16:30 – 18:00 Parallel Sessions on Making, Measuring, and Rethinking Sustainable Food Systems
  • 18:00 – 19:00 Wrap-up

AESOP_workshop_1

24 March 2017

  • 08:30 – 09:00 Opening
  • 09:00 – 09:30 Reports of the Three Sessions
  • 09:30 – 11:30 Workshop Networking: Neela ENKE
  • 11:30 – 11:40 Short Break
  • 11:40 – 12:00 Wrap up (survey/evaluation, conclusion)
  • 12:00 – 13:30 Lunch and Transfer
  • 13:30 – 16:30 Field Trip
  • 16:30 – 17:00 Farewell

IMG_20170324_095008


Starting of the secondment period in Dortmund (Germany)

The secondment planned in the project just started!

Until the end of May, I will be working in Dortmund with researchers, architects and urban planners of the Fachhochschule South Westfalia (SWUAS), the Company hei-tro and the association Die Urbanisten.

The objective of the secondment is to know more about the aquaponics technology and to value two case studies on aquaponics in Dortmund.

During the secondment, knowledge exchange will be produced as well as different outreach activities will take place:

  • Seminar at SWUAS for students and researchers
  • Participation in the Westfalia aquaponics network meeting

Regarding the networking within the project, during the secondment I will participate in two events:

cropped-img_3249.jpg

 


Guest editor in Sustainability’s special issue

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


Today, 11 February: International Day of Women and Girls in Science! – Some notes on gender issues in academia

“On 22 December 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution to establish an annual International Day to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology communities.” It’s today: 11th February. Actually, the 5th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of the United Nations is “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. Yesterday I joined the “Women in science 2017” initiative by providing my testimony regarding my scientific career. All these projects support the increasing awareness of the gender equity issue in academia.

I’m currently preparing a paper of a research study I made with my ex-colleague Beatriz Rodríguez-Labajos, where we evaluated the gender equality in an excellent environmental sciences institution with a mixed methods scheme. To understand the current gender issues in academia, I here list some of the discourses we found in the literature review when preparing our study:

  • The underrepresentation of women in academia, particularly in power positions (i.e., creating a pyramid of power) – Data of the UE in “She figures
  • The obstacles women find in advancing in the career, some of them tied to the current evaluation methods in academia where career breaks (e.g., maternity, caring) are not contemplated
  • The fact that successful men in academia were traditionally men who had a “household woman” who covered all the household non-paid work done. Such traditional patterns of “household wifes”are still kept in mind, making academia a 24/7 career that leads to a difficult family-work conciliation. Even more, women in academia are expected to be a “superwoman” that covers all the demands of an academic position while taking care of the household and family
  • The phenomenon of “gender devaluation”: when women reach a power position, men will devaluate the relevance and power of that position as it’s chaired by a woman, who cannot play such a power role
  • The fact that male attitudes (e.g., agressivity, competition, individualism) are prevailed in academia, contrasting female attitudes (e.g., feelings, co-creation, collaboration). In this context, female sometimes act as a man, showing a cold and agressive attitude (e.g., in meetings)

However, we must overcome some self-barriers that these discourses provoke, as:

  • Gender equity is not exclusively of women and girls. Men also face several obstacles in the academia related to the same issues women have traditionally done. For example, family-work conciliation is also hard for men, particularly those that have a key role in their household where responsibilities are equally shared
  • The competitive and agressive nature of academia is a problematic that might be solved beyond the gender debate
  • Career breaks might be considered in the academic career evaluation not only for family issues but also for personal ones, no matter the gender of the candidate
  • Gender equity is not a 50-50 equilibrium, but an equilibrium of opportunities, rights and respect

Some readings on the topic:

  • Larivière V, Ni C, Gingras Y, et al (2013) Bibliometrics: Global gender disparities in science. Nature 504:211–213. doi: 10.1038/504211a
  • Caprile M, Addis E, Castaño C, et al (2012) Meta-analysis of Gender and Science Research: Synthesis Report.
  • Powell S (2016) Gender equality and meritocracy.
  • Resmini M (2016) The “Leaky Pipeline.” Chem – A Eur J 22:3533–3534. doi: 10.1002/chem.201600292
  • Nielsen MW (2014) Justifications of Gender Equality in Academia: Comparing Gender Equality Policies of Six Scandinavian Universities. NORA – Nord J Fem Gend Res 22:1–17. doi: 10.1080/08038740.2014.905490
  • Shen H (2013) Mind the gender gap. Nature 495:22–24. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2011.02659.x
  • Zippel K, Ferree MM, Zimmermann K (2016) Gender equality in German universities: vernacularising the battle for the best brains. Gend Educ 28:867–885. doi: 10.1080/09540253.2015.1123229


“The SustUrbanFoods project: challenges in accounting for the sustainability of complex urban food systems” – Contribution to the 6th World Sustainability Forum

The preliminary results of the participatory research process of Susturbanfoods were presented in the 6th World Sustainability Fórum with the aim of showing the relevance of integrating stakeholders in the definitions behind methodological schemes and in the selection of parameters and metrics.

The workshops performed in susturbanfoods invited stakeholders and students of urban food systems (UFS) to put together the elements of the sustainability of UFS, differentiating between the environmental, economic and social dimensions. As a result from the workshops, we obtained a global and comprehensive picture of what are the concepts and elements behind the global sustainability of UFS.

The relation of this concepts between the three dimensions composed the following network, which includes mono-, bi- and tri-dimensional elements.

dimensions

 The detailed results and further discussions based on the workshop results will be soon published as a scientific paper.