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Integrated System Analysis of Urban Vegetation and Agriculture (URBAG)

Urban and peri-urban agriculture is currently experiencing rapid growth. This covers a variety of forms, such as vertical farming, greenhouse rooftops, local foodsheds, which together with green spaces like parks and green roofs, are referred to as green infrastructure. It potentially makes cities more resilient to climate change and more sustainable in terms of water management, food production, air quality, human well-being and biodiversity. URBAG will examine if and how green infrastructure can be effective in contributing to sustainability in the aforementioned sense.

The innovation of the project lies in integrating the life cycle impacts of the resources required for green infrastructures with an understanding of how those green infrastructures impact the urban atmosphere interactions. Often various types of green infrastructures are promoted equally in urban sustainability agendas, without existing studies clearly indicating the effectiveness of one or another better serving sustainability goals of the city, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving local air quality, and optimizing its use of resources. Hence, this project will evaluate which combinations of urban/peri-urban agriculture and green spaces result in the best performance in terms of these local and global environmental impacts.