SustUrbanFoods

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


Case study: DIE URBANISTEN aquaponics system – Dortmund (Germany)

Location: Dortmund, Germany
Typology: Modular protected aquaponics
Urban area: Urban
Innovation type: Technological innovation
Main functions: Water recirculation – Polyculture – Research

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HISTORY & CONTEXT

The aquaponics system of die Urbanisten is placed in the Union Gewerbehof in Dortmund. It was implemented in 2013 for demonstrative purposes. The installation consists of a 22m2 unheated greenhouse made of aluminum, plastic and glass, where the aquaculture and soil-less production are integrated. On the on hand, the aquaculture production is performed in a 1m3 IBC container and water is filtered by biological and mechanical processes. On the other hand, the soil-less production system is done on expanded clay in polyethylene boxes.

AGRICULTURAL & AQUACULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Crops: Tomatoes, Mint, Lettuce, Arugula, Lettuce, Lemon balm, Basil (African blue), True Water Cress

Fish: Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), Tench (Tinca tinca)

Techniques: Aquaponics production: Aquaculture tank with filters (biological & mechanical) + Soil-less vegetables production with expanded clay

Irrigation: Tap water – Recirculation – Automatic irrigation

Use of renewable resources: –

Sustainable practices: Pesticides-free – Integrated pest management – Local production – Minimization of water consumption – Sustainable production of protein sources

Other products: –

LINKS


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Workshop on participatory research design – Bologna, 9/11/2016

A total of 20 stakeholders of the urban agriculture development in Bologna joined the workshop in participatory research design for the development of the methodological part of the project. We had representation from the administration – City Council of Bologna, the Regione Emilia-Romagna, ENEA-, associations – Associazione BiodiverCity-,  companies – Horticity, Azienda agricola Floema, Associazione Campi Aperti-, on-going projects in Bologna – Via Gandusio, Spazio Battirame, Làbas, Progetto Orteo, Orti Salgari -and young researchers on food systems.

The workshop consisted of three main parts:

A) Introductory presentations:

  • Presentation of the project SUSTURBANFOODS: “Integrated sustainability assessment of social and technological innovations towards urban food systems” – Prof. Giorgio Gianquinto, Dr. Esther Sanyé-Mengual  – Centro Studi e Ricerche in Agricoltura Urbana e Biodiversità, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alma Mater Studorium-Università di Bologna
  • Presentation of urban agriculture projects in Bologna:
    • Orto sul tetto di Via Gandusio, Luana Iori
    • Spazio Battirame, Joan Crous
    • ResCUE-AB e l’agricoltura urbana a Bologna, Dr. Francesco Orsini

B) Group dynamics:

  • Elements of environmental, economic and social sustainability of urban food systems
  • Quantitative methods and indicators for valuing the sustainability of urban food systems

C) Individual exercise

  • Valuation of the ecosystem services of urban agriculture: environmental and socio-cultural services

Watch now the VIDEO of the workshop, clicking in the following image:

vimeo

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Case study: iPom Pellerrossa – Bologna (Italy)

Location: Bologna, Italy
Typology: High-tech protected farm
Urban area: Peri-urban
Innovation type: Technological innovation
Main functions: Water recirculation – Integrated pest management – Geographical synergy

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HISTORY & CONTEXT

PELLEROSSA is born as the first eco-friendly tomato in the region of Emilia – Romagna by employing agronomic techniques that respect the environment. They are promoted as “100% sustainable” since it grows in a clump of earth wrapped with coconut fiber in a high greenhouse, solid and bright. Every day, hour after hour, is fed with natural substances in order to grow healthy and tasty.

AGRICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Crops: 2 varieties of tomato

Techniques: Hydroponic rockwool production

Irrigation: Use of well water – Drip irrigation – Use of fertigation (NPK)

Use of renewable resources: –

Sustainable practices: Pesticides-free (Integrated pest management with benefitial insects) – Local production – Minimization of water consumtpion – Use of residual hot water from the bioenergy plant

Other products: –

LINKS


Visit to Serra Pellerossa

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Today we visited the periruban farm of IPOM Pellerossa in the outskirts of Bologna. This farm employs technological innovation to minimize the environmental impact of their tomato production. In particular, the name of the farm “Pellerossa” refers to a local variety of tomato that the farm recovered. This is one the case studies for technological innovation in SustUrbanFoods.

 


Case study: Arvaia (CSA, cooperative) – Bologna, Italy

Location: Bologna, Italy
Typology: Community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm
Urban area: Peri-urban
Innovation type: Social innovation
Main functions: Cooperative – Social cohesion – Ecological production – Community empowerment – Volunteering

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HISTORY & CONTEXT

Arvaia is a social cooperative founded in 2013 to manage a piece of peri-urban agricultural land as a community in order to obtain local (km.0) and ecological food through cooperative work among citizens. The land is a concession of the community of Bologna and now is an area restricted for urban development. Nowadays Arvaia is made of 324 members and cultivates 75 different variaties in 47ha in the outskirts of Bologna.

The approach is collaborative and dedicated to sharing the common good land to farm. Members has a single annual fee that covers the annual budget and will give right to reception of the products weekly. Members are invited to participate in the agricultural activities because of some half-day year. Cooperation to the farm is based on their skills or professional ability (accountant, community manager, etc.). Pursuing the “zero waste” goal, the surplus of production will be transformed and redistributed. Memebers can pick up their weekly harvest directly at arvaia or in some points of the city centre.

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AGRICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Crops: 75 varieties of diverse products (tomato, melon, watermelon, zucchini, lettuce, eggplant, wheat, etc.) [+ info]

Techniques: Soil production – Rotation for promoting organic matter content – Protected cultivation for certain crops (tunnel)

Irrigation: Use of tap water – Drip irrigation

Use of renewable resources:

Sustainable practices: Ecological production – Seasonal production –  Production km.0 – Minimization of food waste – Biologic seeds (own production)

Other products: Beekeeping – Added-value products (e.g. tomato sauce)

LINKS


Case study: Community garden of Via Gandusio – Bologna, Italy

Location: Bologna, Italy
Typology: Community garden
Urban area: Inner city – building – rooftop
Innovation type: Social innovation
Main functions: Social inclusion – community development – food self-production
Users: Private users – Neighbours

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HISTORY & CONTEXT

Via Gandusio is a social housing complex in the North of Bologna (Italy) that was originally built for hosting workers that migrate from the South of Italy in the 60s. Nowadays, Via Gandusio still host two different communities: advanced-age Italians (former migrants in the 60s) and current international immigrants from Africa and Asia. The difference of age and nationality create some conflicts and limits the relationships among the community.

The community garden was designed by the Municipality of Bologna, the association BiodiverCity and the RESCUE-AB (Università di Bologna) with the aim of setting a meeting point for the community where food production is the link between neighbours to exchange knowledge, culture and experiences. The 250 m2 roof garden started in 2011 becoming the first rooftop garden of the city of Bologna and of Italy.

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AGRICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

Crops: leafy species (lettuce, chicory), vegetable crops (tomato, pepper, melon, watermelon, eggplant) and herbs (basil, aromatics)

Techniques: Three different cultivation techniques are employed in the garden: organic soil based production in the containers, floating hydroponic production in the containers and nutrient film technique (NFT) in the pipe.

Irrigation: Fertigation with NPK – Use of tap water

Use of renewable resources:

Sustainable practices: Pesticides-free production – Use of home-made compost – Production km.0

LINKS

AVAILABLE LITERATURE:

  • Marchetti, L., 2012. Above our heads , below the sky : a step-by- step procedure for creating and managing a soilless roof community garden. Alma Mater Studiorium Università di Bologna.
  • Orsini, F., Gasperi, D., Marchetti, L., Piovene, C., Draghetti, S., Ramazzotti, S., Bazzocchi, G., Gianquinto, G., 2014. Exploring the production capacity of rooftop gardens (RTGs) in urban agriculture: the potential impact on food and nutrition security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services in the city of Bologna. Food Secur. 6, 781–792. doi:10.1007/s12571-014-0389-6
  • Sanyé-Mengual, E., Orsini, F., Oliver-Solà, J., Rieradevall, J., Montero, J., Gianquinto, G., 2015. Techniques and crops for efficient rooftop gardens in Bologna, Italy. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 35, 1477–1488. doi:10.1007/s13593-015-0331-0