Agroecology and cities: Energy efficiency and sustainable development systems

A Part of the IFSA Delegation attended a side event called ‘Agroecology and cities. Energy efficiency and sustainable development systems’, held by COBASE, a research and planning organisation based in Rome, Italy.  The Event started with the technical aspect of renewable electrical cities and the principle of bioeconomy, which will provide better adapted cities. The aspect of the renewable electrical cities is based on the idea of sustainable energy use and designing a city as a whole, complex system, providing technical, social and financial feasibility.

Because of the rising population within the next years the necessity for larger urban areas and also the need of food and other products will increase. Almost 70 percent of the worlds population will live in the cities, which are already affected by a local and anthropogenic climate change. The results are extreme effects on the urban heat island in the city, especially in megacities. So there is a need to develop cities for the future.

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A possible solution is to follow the principle of adaption, which are:

  • Designing human settlements mimicking natural ecosystems
  • Progressive elimination of combustion in the city
  • Interdependence between economy and ecology
  • Increasing biological and cultural diversity

Possible benefits of Urban Agroecology:

The wastewater and organic solid waste can be transformed into resources for growing agriculture products; thus will improve the water management and increase the availability for fresh water. Another positive effect of agroecology would be the preservation and restoration of rural lands, avoiding further degradation. In addition to that, plants in cities improve the air quality and the costs of transportation, storage and product loss will lower.

 

My conclusion of this event is that the agroecology is an interesting topic with potential for more researches, but also many unanswered questions e.g. How to introduce the system into the city, which is already built and established? It would be a good way to slow down climate change though it is linked with a lot effort.

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Merle Küster is a Forestry Student at Technical University of Dresden, Germany. Her main interests involve Botany and Biological Processes.

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