Methodologies to assess the food/energy/water nexus in urban agriculture

Chair: FEW-Meter consortium  (S. Caputo, K. Specht, N. Cohen, R. Fox-Kämper,  L. Ponizy)     

Short  Description:
The Food/Energy/Water Nexus as a concept advocating the optimisation of resource usage in relationship to food production has been mainly investigated at a macro and meso scale of intervention, in order to identify resource-efficient inter-sectorial approaches, governance systems and policies. At these scales, people are considered in terms of access to resources and participation in the decision-making processes.
At a micro scale, the production of food within cities through urban agriculture (UA) can be seen as a form of food growing that improves the F/E/W nexus, in that it can rely on untapped urban resources such as rainwater harvesting and on a shorter supply chain, in which proximity of production to the place of consumption results in reduced environmental impact of transportation. In UA, people’s behaviour matters in that cultures of resource use to grow food can play a fundamental role in terms of efficiency. There have been attempts to design methodologies that can measure the potential for production and efficiency of urban agriculture, but not to elicit the links between the use of resources, the ecological behaviour of farmers and the food production, which would require a more complex approach to measuring.
In order to support a more holistic and systematic assessment framework, this session asks for contributions to the development of methodologies for measuring the F/E/W Nexus for UA. Contributions should focus on the following question: Which methodologies and sets of indicators can effectively measure the linkages between food, energy and water in UA?
The session invites researchers to submit studies proposing innovative ways to measure the social-ecological functioning of growing food in cities through theoretical or case-study based contributions.