Susturbanfoods

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


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.

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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:

 


Seminar at the Department of Agricultural Sciences of UNIBO

As part of the dissemination of the project, three seminars will be held in the Department of Agricultural Sciences as an opportuniy to exchange knowledge with the colleagues from UNIBO.

Today, we offered the first seminar at DIPSA where we presented an overview of the project, including objectives and expected results, and we showed the dynamics established in the past WORKSHOP with the stakeholders in Bologna.

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The two other seminars at DIPSA are planned as follows:

  • October 2017 – Presentation of the methodological framework and preliminary results
  • May 2018 – Final presentation: Results and policy recommendations

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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.