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JUST GROW: Co-designing justice-centric indicators and governance principles to intensify urban agriculture sustainably and equitably
Client:BELMONT Forum
Partner(s):University of Rhode Island (USA), Nord University (Norway), Radboud University (The Netherland), IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (Sweden), Kyoto University (Japan)
Time frame:06/2023 – 06/2026

Urban regions are a proposed location for the sustainable intensification of agricultural production to meet global food demand in the 21st century. Integrating food production into urban areas promises to shorten supply chains and reconnect producers and consumers, while improving socio-environmental sustainability and resilience.

Sustainable urban agricultural intensification (UAI) is likely to involve increased use of technologies that decouple food production from environmental conditions such as seasonal climate and available land. Technological systems range from capital-intensive approaches such as vertical farms to more knowledge-intensive approaches such as urban agroecology.

While conducting sustainability assessments for different food production systems along different dimensions is crucial, another important gap remains largely unrecognised: The comparative assessment of equity and justice impacts of different pathways to sustainable food systems in the urban region.

The JUST GROW project will fill this gap by conducting transnational, transdisciplinary research in six urban regions: the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region (Germany), the Greater Providence metropolitan region (USA), the Rotterdam-Amsterdam-Den Haag metropolitan region (Netherlands), the Keihanshin (Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe) metropolitan region (Japan), the Trondheim-Trondelag region (Norway) and the Greater Stockholm region (Sweden).

In order to holistically integrate equity and justice into food system policies and governance structures, the project will.

(1) identify a set of indicators that city regions can use to assess the impact of specific UAI plans on equity for sustainable food consumption and production systems (SSCP); and

(2) make recommendations for transformative, equity-oriented policy innovations and principles that city region governance networks should adopt to steer UAI towards equitable food SSCP.

This project is carried out by ILS Research gGmbH.

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