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Integrated System Analysis of Urban Vegetation and Agriculture

Project description

How vegetables contribute to urban sustainability

Urban sites can implement green infrastructures to encourage food production, promote air quality and temperature, and reduce environmental impact. The EU-funded URBAG project will investigate how urban and peri-urban green infrastructures can contribute to urban sustainability. It will assess which combinations of urban and peri-urban agriculture and green spaces have the best performance on local and global environmental impact. URBAG will establish a geo-referenced land use model considering urban morphology and defining life cycle impacts. Analysis will also comprise an integrated spatially-temporally resolved system for quantitative analysis and simulation of green infrastructures for determining their direct and indirect effects on the atmosphere. The two case study cities of Oslo and Barcelona will be used to test the integrated approach.


This research aims to find out how urban green infrastructures can be most efficient in contributing to urban sustainability. This will evaluate which combinations of urban, peri-urban agriculture and green spaces result in the best performance in terms of local and global environmental impact.
For this purpose, I will use novel and comprehensive analysis that will integrate the life cycle impacts of the resources required for green infrastructures with the understanding of how green infrastructures impact the urban atmosphere interaction. This comprehensive approach allows to capture the urban metabolism to optimize the food-energy-water nexus. In previous works, the impacts had been only studied individually.
The analysis will consist of 1) A geo-referenced land-use model to optimize urban and peri-urban food production in terms of nutrients, water, and energy, considering urban morphology and determining life cycle impacts 2) A spatially-temporally resolved framework for quantitative analysis and simulation of green infrastructures to determine the direct and indirect effects on the urban and regional atmosphere. The research will be implemented in two selected cities with different profiles, Barcelona and Oslo. The study ambitions to gather substantial quantitative evidence in green infrastructures and sustainability, contributing to cover the existing gap in previous works.
This project and the envisaged: Green infrastructures - A Guide for city planners and policy makers, are timely and urgent. Many cities are implementing green infrastructures despite having little quantitative and comprehensive knowledge as to which infrastructure strategies are more effective in promoting food production, air quality and temperature while reducing environmental impact. This intended Guide will contain evidence-based guidance and tools to create green infrastructure strategies; to help to meet sustainability targets, and promote wider and diffused social benefits.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 893 754,00
08193 Cerdanyola Del Valles

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 893 754,00

Beneficiaries (1)