Bostadsnära odlling i stad.

Towards a sustainable and equitable urban agriculture

The Just Grow project aims to co-design indicators and governance principles to intensify urban agriculture sustainably and equitably in city regions.

Urban regions are essential to sustainably increase agricultural production and meet global food demands in the 21st century. The localisation of urban food systems combining food production in cities and their peri-urban landscapes promises to shorten supply chains and reconnect producers with consumers, thereby improving socio-ecological sustainability and resilience.

Sustainable urban agricultural intensification (UAI) likely requires investment in technologies that decouple food production from environmental constraints, including seasonal climate and available land base. Proposed technological systems range from capital-intensive approaches, such as vertical farms, to more knowledge-intensive approaches, such as urban agroecology.

Six regions will be studied

Researchers have begun to question the technological production systems' relative resource requirements, environmental footprints, and productivity. Yet, a significant gap remains largely unacknowledged: comparatively evaluating the equity and justice implications of different pathways toward sustainable city-region food systems. For the first time, Just Grow will center equity and justice of UAI within transnational, transdisciplinary research across six city regions: the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area (Germany), the Greater Providence Metropolitan Area (USA), the Randstad, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague Metropolitan Area (Netherlands), Keihanshin (Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe) Metropolitan Area (Japan), Trondheim-Trondelag Region (Norway), and Greater Stockholm Region (Sweden).

To help diverse city regions holistically design justice and equity into food system policy and governance structures, the Just Grow project will produce:

  1. Concise sets of credible and legitimate indicators that city regions can use to evaluate the equity impacts of specific UAI plans as a transition toward SSCP of food.
  2. Recommendations for transformative, justice-centric policy innovations and principles that city region governance networks should adopt to steer UAI towards equitable SSCP of food.

Project facts

  • Project name: Just Grow, Co-designing justice-centric indicators and governance principles to intensify urban agriculture sustainably and equitably
  • Funding: Belmont Foundation through Formas The Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, The US National Science Foundation, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, The Research Council of Norway.
  • Budget: 3,1 MSEK in Sweden, in total 1 556 000 Euro.
  • Partners: In SwedenSverige: IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Stadsodla Stockholm, Sweden Foodtech, The culinary Farmer. In Germany: Food policy council Dortmund and region, ILS research. In Netherlands: Aeres University, Radboud University. In the US: Rhode Island Food Policy Council, The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, University of Rhode Island. In Japan: Cultural Property Protection Division in Izumisano city, Kyoto University. In Norway: Norduniversitetet, Trondheim Competence Center for Urban Agriculture and Voll Farm.
  • Period: 2023 - 2026


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