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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number ES/S002251/1
Title JPI Urban Europe SUGI - Urbanising in Place
Status Completed
Energy Categories Not Energy Related 75%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 25%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Geography and Environmental Studies) 30%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 20%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Development Studies) 20%;
BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science) 30%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Other Systems Analysis) 50%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 25%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 25%;
Principal Investigator Dr C Tornaghi
No email address given
Ctr for Agroecology, Water and Resili
Coventry University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 02 April 2018
End Date 01 April 2021
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £139,166
Industrial Sectors
Region West Midlands
Programme Society & Global Security
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr C Tornaghi , Ctr for Agroecology, Water and Resili, Coventry University (99.997%)
  Other Investigator Dr V Castan Broto , Development Planning Unit, University College London (0.001%)
Dr A Franklin , Ctr for Agroecology, Water and Resili, Coventry University (0.001%)
Professor M Kneafsey , Ctr for Agroecology, Water and Resili, Coventry University (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Wageningen University, The Netherlands (0.000%)
Project Contact , Ghent University (UGent), Belgium (0.000%)
Project Contact , Architecture Workroom Brussels, Belgium (0.000%)
Project Contact , Art Academy of Latvia (0.000%)
Project Contact , National University of Rosario, Argentina (0.000%)
Project Contact , Quantum Waste (0.000%)
Project Contact , Sampling Architects, Riga, Latvia (0.000%)
Project Contact , Shared Assets (0.000%)
Project Contact , Urban Energy and Mobility System (URBEM), Austria (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives Answering to the challenges of a dysfunctional urban food-water-energy nexus, this consortium tries to imagine and consolidate forms of organization and governance that enable (food growing) practices that can control the way in which resources circulate in a particular urban ecology/urban metabolism. The simple presence of potential resources within an urban environment is not enough. Resources need to be available in the right form, at the right scale, at the right price (if priced), to the right parties. The current organization of the urbanization process is often disabling rather than enabling intelligent, resource efficient, locally controlled, and environmentally responsive ways of handling resources (Tornaghi 2017). Potentially harmful resources are removed as waste, potentially negative effects (on health, on the environment, on smell, on the use of space, etc.) are often externalized but in the process critical opportunities for alternative models to emerge are squandered and even actively blocked. Food growing activities have been displaced and so have the positive externalities and services that may be derived from them. Socio-technical arrangement have been scaled in ways that they devalue and exclude local food growing practices etc. In order to imagine a resourceful urban metabolism, resources (that in a passive, devalued, and technically disabled way are already present) need to be handle differently:1. These resources need to become locally available and be kept locally (acting for proximity).2. They need to be valued locally and be scaled accordingly (acting for value).3. They need to be reproduced and controlled by local actors and be recognized as critical assets by these local actors (acting for change).We will identify pathways and trajectories giving 'urbanising communities' maximal control over the organization of their livelihoods, keeping urban systems embedded in local knowledge, short feedback loops, and care over the reproduction of common pool resources: all necessary for urban resilience.The consortium will identify across four different context ways of transforming processes of urbanization that allow to reintegrate food growing within contemporary urban metabolisms. We will develop concrete strategies that enable food growers to become active agents capable of transforming and amending aspects of the metabolic rift.The consortium will work along four thematic lines, each of which focusses on a particular nexus within the urban metabolic cycle.1. Metabolizing waste streams with a focus on adequate processes and technologies that can enable practices of nutrient cycling by capturing and 'digesting' urban waste streams.2. Claiming metabolic positions, with a focus on the role of land allocation in securing positions that may enable local relations between food growers and consumers, and may enable the delivery of local FWE services.3. Enabling alternative, localized metabolic ecologies. Identifying the role of low tech solutions in reducing negative and enhancing positive externalities of food growing activities within peri-urban ecologies, reducing soil erosion, mitigating flood and drought, use of micro-climate to enhance energy efficiency).4. Capturing Metabolic Value with a focus on the establishment of compatible scales enabling localized, de-commodified logics of exchange between food growing, processing and consumption.The workplan is divided into three stages:Stage 1: Tracing and Mapping (WP2 & 3)Stage 2: Designing Political Pathways (WP4 & 5)Stage 3: Implementation/Dissemination/Valorization (WP6 &7)These stages define three horizontally interwoven lines defining three sets of deliverables:a The development of a strategic agenda within the local urban platformsb. The building of an international social platform and incubator for an agroecological urbanismc. The development of a shared conceptual framework and a strategic research agenda.
Abstract While a large part of current research on the link between sustainability, ecological practices and ecosystem services (including urban agriculture) is focussed on high-density forms of urbanisation, in this project we take up the important challenge to reflect on loosely-urbanised landscapes on the metropolitan fringe, such as those of suburbs and low density conurbations.The horizontal metropolis of the peri-urban, which provides the specific context for this project, is confronted with an interesting paradox: agriculture is still largely present in these areas and exists in close proximity to new forms of urban settlement yet hardly entertains any relationship with them. At the same time, the remaining agricultural patterns perform vital open space and ecosystems services which are not valued by the logics of urbanisation. The de-valuing of these ecosystem services poses an ongoing threat to the farming practices that generate them.Farmers and food growing communities play a crucial role in managing the food-water-energy (FWE) nexus in the metropolitan fringe, but their often operate within precarious conditions in which nutrient cycles, energy conservation, water harvest, soil management and food production happen under marginal and residual conditions.Contemporary dynamics of urbanization tend to push farmers and food growers out of the city boundaries, displacing food production and resources conservation practices too. Nonetheless, peri-urban areas and the urbanising fringes of metropolitan areas tend to harbour a rich variety of farming practices and there is empirical evidence that urban farmers play a key role as localized and distributed operators of the food-water-energy nexus.'Urbanising in place' will imagine new ways to bolster the role of food growers in managing the FWE nexus rather than pushing them out. The project will explore how farming and food growing practices on the metropolitan fringe, threatened by an ever expanding urbanisation, may be reimagined and reconfigured within what we call 'agroecological urbanism': a model of urbanisation which places food, urban metabolic cycles and an ethics of land stewardship, equality and solidarity at its core.The project brings together innovative practices from 4 different contexts (Riga, Rosario, Brussels, London) in an international platform aimed at mutual learning and the identification of critical pathways for change.The research project will establish a transdisciplinary social platform (UFJ-ESRC 2011) that will act as a co-creation and learning lab that brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars, local government actors, national and international NGOs for the mobilisation of technical or policy knowledge, and community stakeholders.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 09/10/18