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Applying the Food-Energy-Water Nexus approach to urban agriculture: from FEW to FEWP (Food-Energy-Water-People)

Caputo, Silvio, Schoen, Victoria, Specht, Kathrin, Grard, Baptiste, Blythe, Chris, Cohen, Nevin, Fox-Kaemper, Runrid, Hawes, Jason, Newell, Joshua, Ponizy, Lidia and others. (2020) Applying the Food-Energy-Water Nexus approach to urban agriculture: from FEW to FEWP (Food-Energy-Water-People). Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, . Article Number 126934. ISSN 1618-8667. (doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2020.126934) (KAR id:81931)


Many studies examine the correlation between the use of resources such as water, energy and land, and the production of food. These nexus studies focus predominantly on large scale systems, often considering the social dimensions only in terms of access to resources and participation in the decision-making process, rather than individual attitudes and behaviours with respect to resource use. Such a concept of the nexus is relevant to urban agriculture (UA), but it requires customisation to the particular characteristics of growing food in cities, which is practiced mainly at a small scale and produces not only food but also considerable social, economic, and environmental co-benefits. To this end, this paper proposes a new concept for a UA Nexus, together with a methodology for its assessment, that explicitly includes social dimensions in addition to food, energy and water. The paper develops a new conceptual basis, introducing People, together with Food, Energy and Water, as factors of the UA Nexus. A methodological approach for its assessment is presented, aimed at measuring not only resource efficiency and food production but also motivations and health benefits, as well as the ecological awareness of urban farmers. The methodology is based on a combination of methods such as diaries of everyday UA practices, a database of UA activities, life cycle assessment (LCA), and material flow analysis to connect investigations developed at a garden scale to the city scale.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.ufug.2020.126934
Uncontrolled keywords: Food/Energy/Water Nexus, Urban Agriculture, Urban Metabolism
Subjects: N Visual Arts > NA Architecture
S Agriculture
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Signature Themes: Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment
Depositing User: Silvio Caputo
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2020 13:26 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2024 06:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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