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Food production in circular urban systems

With an ever-growing urban population, it is important to find solutions for more sustainable and resilient food production in urban environments. Such practices can also be less vulnerable to supply chain shocks.

Urban farming systems have emerged to enable a more resilient food supply. Moving production to urban environments offers promising solutions for securing more sustainable food production.

However, many current and future urban farming systems are highly dependent on material and energy inputs from outside the urban area and have little or no integration into the surrounding urban infrastructure, material and energy flows. Thus, there is potential for further integration by promoting more circular approaches to food production through industrial and urban symbiosis. However, there is a lack of research and knowledge in this area. Therefore, the project FOCUSE (Food production and provisioning through Circular Urban Systems in European Cities) was launched with the overall aim of exploring, developing and analyzing methods to promote more circular food production in cities.

The FOCUSE project in short

The project integrates research and work with private actors and municipalities. It does this by:

  • Focusing on understanding the current supply and production of food in urban areas.
  • Imagining future circular food production methods in urban areas to realize their potential.
  • Use experimental tests of new methods to produce food from residual materials and review their feasibility, sustainability and viability.
  • Study opportunities and barriers for further implementation and scaling up in Europe. This will be done through an international consortium of municipalities, private actors and researchers from European cities in Sweden, Spain, Italy and Poland.

The Swedish partners, including the project leader IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, will work together to study potential circular solutions for food systems in building integrated agriculture, focusing mainly on indoor farming systems such as indoor vertical farms, mushroom farming and rooftop farms. The other European partners will focus complementarily on greenhouses and outdoor growing areas to contribute to the diversity and applicability of different urban farming systems.

EU-emblem "Co-funded by the European Union".
Logotyp för EU-organet Drivin Urban Transitions.

Funded by the EU partnership Driving Urban Transitions.

Co-founded by the European Union.

Project facts

  • Project name: FOCUSE - Food production and provisioning through Circular Urban Systems in European Cities.
  • Budget: 1 096 456 Euro
  • Funding: The Horizon Europe (EU) through the programme Driving Urban Transition, and the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, Formas.
  • Partners: IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, University of Bologna, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Invest Stockholm (City of Stockholm), Grönska Stadsodling, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw Miasto municipality and the municipality of Skellefteå.
  • Period: 2024 - 2026


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