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Leader: Laura Talens.

This research line aims to analyze the anthropogenic cycles of materials in socio-economic systems. The results of such analyses help identify ways of optimizing the use of resources and reducing the related environmental impacts, as well as help get a better understanding of the environmental impact of the lifespan of products and services. Within the research line, two of the research topics targeted are the analysis raw materials and the ecodesign of electrical and electronic products.

Understanding the availability of raw material is crucial to ensure the development and implementation of new technological applications, as for example renewable energy technologies. The analysis of raw material using material flow analysis allows quantifying the flows and the stocks of materials within a system, as well as defining indicators that help monitor the performance of such systems.

Since 2015, the European Commission has emphasized to need to favor the repair and maintenance, reuse, remanufacture and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment, to optimize materials cycles and reduce waste to advance towards a more circular economy. At ICTA-UAB, we develop projects on the ecodesign of electrical and electronic equipment to get a better understanding of the lifetime, the architectural design and the material composition of these products and upcoming technologies.

Leader: Xavier Gabarrell

This research line, Sustainable food systems, arises from the need to give an integrated response to some of the challenges posed in the 2030 Urban Agenda with the objective of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It analyses the potential of urban agriculture and the food chain in making cities more sustainable by exploring the optimization of food, energy, and water right within the urban area. Sostenipra holds an integrated rooftop greenhouse (i-RTG) designed for vertical urban farming purposes (www.fertilecity.com). This is one of the few facilities in the world that allows the exchange of energy, water and CO2 between the greenhouse and the building. The i-RTG includes two Agrourban labs, each one of 100 m2. The first dedicated to the tomatoes production, with a yield of 1.5 tons of tomatoes per year.

PI: Gara Villalba

Nature-based solutions (NBS) such as green infrastructures potentially make cities more resilient to climate change and more sustainable in terms of water management, food production, air quality, human well-being and biodiversity. Often various types of NBS are promoted in urban agendas, without existing studies clearly indicating the effectiveness of their contribution to sustainability. Funded by ERC Consolidator grant URBAG, the group presently studies the life cycle impacts of the resources required for urban green infrastructures with an understanding of how those green infrastructures impact the urban atmosphere interactions- thus integrating urban metabolism assessment with urban atmospheric modeling.