Until recently, short food supply chains and multifunctional agriculture were considered to be part of the rural development realm. These topics get increasingly important in the context of sustainable urban development. Short food supply chains have been advocated as a means to reduce the environmental impact of the agro-food system.
However, to improve the ecological performance of the agro-food system other flows (e.g. nutrients, water, and urban waste) need to be considered as well. In the current context these aspects are usually treated separately. This project will treat them in an integrated manner. Research will be carried out in seven European city-regions (Rotterdam (NL), Rome (IT), Ghent (BE), Vigo (ES), Bristol (UK), Zurich (CH) and Riga (LV) in collaboration with a diverse group of SMEs and will identify innovate modes of urban and peri-urban food provisioning, nutrient, water and waste management, and multifunctional use of urban and peri-urban space. The project will also establish links with researchers, policymakers and SMEs in these domains in developing countries. This will be organised through a process of dialogue, sharing of experiences, exchange of best practice and joint learning.
The project has the following major themes: