The 15 projects that will take on the food-water-energy nexus

All 15 SUGI projects address the need for innovative and integrated solutions and are framed in the context of the urban food-water-energy nexus.

The urban food-water-energy nexus is an approach to complex urban systems that focus on the intersections and potential synergies between sectors and fields commonly seen apart in business, policy and research: urban governance, planning, management; socio-economic development and cohesion; grey, green and blue infrastructures. It is understood that investigations into food-water and energy as one complex system will lead to findings that cannot emerge from separate research on food, water or energy systems.

134 researchers from 20 countries
The SUGI projects will involve 134 researchers and project partners from business, public authorities and civil society in 20 countries. In addition to the formal partners many projects will also involve extensive groups of local stakeholders.


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A quick overview of approaches

A quick overview of the projects shows a variation of integrated approaches. Many projects combine advanced tools and models, for example for data mining and processing, GIS and visualization models, with expert knowledge in the waste, food and energy sector, urban planning and governance. INSOURCE will develop a shared urban data and modeling framework to help cities analyze and characterize food-water-energy systems and nexus interrelationships.

While all projects aim for integrated approaches to food, water and energy management in cities, five of the projects put food and urban agriculture at the center of attention. The project FEW-meter will engage farmers in five developed countries to gather data to model resource flows of urban agriculture. METABOLIC will apply advanced tools such as artificial intelligence, data mining, system dynamics modelling, agro-logistics and scenario analysis to define critical pathways and to construct effective transport and exchange mechanisms for food, water and energy nutrients from sources to urban centers.

There is a variety of approaches implemented to facilitate the involvement of stakeholders and knowledge sharing among partners, for example co-designed scenarios, visualization models, citizens research and urban living labs. FUSE for example aims to develop a two-stage living lab approach in which stakeholders produce solutions, engage in model building and examine the solutions.


The 15 projects and consortium partners


CITYFOOD: Smart integrated multitrophic city food production systems – a water and energy saving approach for global urbanization

Partners: Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V, Wageningen University, University of Gothenburg, Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research, SRP Gesellschaft für Stadt- und Regionalplanung mbH, Universidade Estadual Paulista, University of Washington


Creating Interfaces: Building capacity for integrated governance at the food-water-energy-nexus in cities on the water

Partners: European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER), Nicolas Copernicus, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Pracownia Zrownowazonego Rozwoju, University of Delaware, Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development, 52°North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH, Simbiotica Ltd, University of Warwick, Plantagon International AB, KTH Royal Institute of Technology


CRUNCH: Climate Resilient Urban Nexus CHoices: operationalising the Food-Water-Energy Nexus

Partners: University of Portsmouth, National Taiwan University, KnowNow Information Ltd, Eindhoven University of Technology, Experior Micro Technologies Ltd., Florida International University FIU, Uppsala University, Glasgow City Council, Gdansk University of Technology, AECOM Ltd, Soil Association, Southend on Sea Borough Council


ENLARGE: ENabling LARGE-scale integration of technology hubs to enhance community resiliency via DDS in various urban FWE nexuses

Partners: Delft University of Technology, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitian Solutions, University of Central Florida, IRSTEA, Ecosec, ECOFILAE, Institute for Sustainable Communities


FEW-meter: The FEW-meter – an integrative model to measure and improve urban agriculture towards circular urban metabolism

Partners: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, ILS – Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development Office Aachen, University of Michigan, Poznan University of Life Sciences, AgroParisTech, Landesverband Westfalen und Lippe der Kleingärtner, City of Gorzow Wielkopolski, IRSTV FR CNRS 2488, City University of New York School of Public Health, University of Portsmouth, LEAP MICRO AD Ltd, Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, Polski Zwiazek Dzialkowcow Okreg Gorzow Wlkp.


FUSE: Food-water-energy for Urban Sustainable Environments
Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Austrian Foundation for Development Research


GLOCULL: Globally and LOCally-sustainable food-water-energy innovation in Urban Living Labs

Partners: Maastricht University, Lund University, LUCSUS, School of Public Health University of Sao Paulo, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Arizona State University, Stellenbosch University, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, AB Brygghuset Finn, Local First Arizona, City of Tempe, Nikko Photovoltaik, City of Phoenix


IFWEN: Understanding Innovative Initiatives for Governing Food, Water and Energy Nexus in Cities

Partners: Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) Sao Paulo School of Management (FGV/EAESP), The Nature of Cities, Ming Chuan University, ICLEI Africa, Stockholm University, ICLEI, Yale University, UNU Flores


IN-SOURCE: INtegrated analysis and modelling for the management of sustainable urban FWE ReSOURCEs

Partners: Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart, New York Institute of Technology, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, City University of New York, Landkreis Ludwigsburg, Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, bw-engineers GmbH


METABOLIC: Intelligent Urban Metabolic Systems for Green Cities of Tomorrow: an FWE Nexus-based Approach

Partners: National Taiwan University (NTU), Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, University of Illinois, Qatar University, University of Sao Paulo, Sunny Rich Power Co.


M-NEX: The Moveable NEXUS: Design-led urban food, water and energy management innovation in new boundary conditions of change

Partners: Keio University, Delft University of Technology, Queens University Belfast, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Qatar University, Maccreanor Lavington, University of Technology Sydney, University of Michigan


SUNEX:  Formulating sustainable urban FWE strategy by optimizing the synergies between food, water and energy systems

Partners: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), University of the West of England, ROC-Connect, Inc., Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Bristol Water plc


Urbanising in Place: Building the food water energy nexus from below

Partners: Ghent University, Coventry University, Art Academy of Latvia, Sampling, URBEM, Architecture Workroom Brussels, Universidad Nacional de Rosario and CONICET, Wageningen University, Quantum Waste Ltd, University of Sheffield, Shared Assets


Vertical Green 2.0: Vertical greening for liveable cities – innovation to facilitate the breakthrough of an old concept

Partners: Technical University of Berlin, National Taiwan University, Urban planning institute of the Republic of Slovenia, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Green4Cities GmbH


WASTE FEW ULL: Waste Food-Energy-Water Urban Living Lab – Mapping and Reducing Waste in the Food-Energy-Water Nexus

Partners: Coventry University, University of California Santa Cruz, CICERO Senter for klimaforskning, University of Bath, University of Reading, Wessex Water Services Ltd, Bristol Food Network, GENeco, The Schumacher Institute, University of Campinas, University of Cape Town, Erasmus University Rotterdam, ERWAT, Isidima Design & Development, BlueCity, Daniel Black + Associates




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