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SUSKULT - Development of a sustainable cultivation system for food of resilient metropolitan regions
Client:Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (in the strategy process "Agricultural Systems of the Future" within the framework of the "National Funding Strategy Bio-Economy 2030")
Partner(s):Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT; Justus Liebig University Giessen/ Institute for Political Science; Kaiserslautern University of Technology; Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences; Montan University Leoben (AT); German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence DFKI; Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH-UFZ; Emschergenossenschaft; Ruhrverband K. ö. R.; Blue Foot Membranes GmbH; Metro AG; PACELUM GmbH; Yara GmbH & Co. KG; Rewe Markt GmbH
Time frame:04/2019 – 03/2022

Current agricultural systems contribute significantly to the crossing of planetary boundaries. Among the many effects of modern food production on the Earth system, the changes in phosphorus and nitrogen cycles are particularly striking. It is a central future issue how yield increases in agriculture will be possible in the future in the face of finite phosphate resources, high energy expenditure in fertilizer production and the pollution of waters and soils by phosphorus and reactive nitrogen.

The SUSKULT vision stands for innovative systems of urban cycle-based agricultural production that take into account the central location requirements for successful crop production (availability of light, water, heat and nutrients). The project develops technological and political solutions and adaptation strategies for sustainable and cycle-based urban agricultural production. A hydroponic based, regenerative local food production system is being developed, which draws the essential resources water, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, CO2 and heat from the operation of a "wastewater treatment plant of the future" (NEWtrient®-Center) (Fig. 1).

Source: Fraunhofer UMSICHT

The ILS is responsible for the analysis and assessment of social and spatial development trends that influence the implementation and integration of the NEWtrient® Center into urban space. In trend and alternative scenarios for specific locations in the model region "Rhine-Ruhr", the effects of an implementation of a SUSKULT model plant are to be worked out, especially in relation to the resilience of the metropolitan region. The future visions gained are to be made usable in greater detail in an evaluation and transfer process. Concrete development potentials and needs for action are to be worked out.

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