Sustainably feeding the rapidly growing urban populations requires resource-efficient food production solutions, such as aquaponics. To assess its upscaled fruition in city regions, we applied system analysis to depict determinants of aquaponics at a mesoscale. Using Berlin as a case study, site potentials regarding the production of freshwater fish, tomatoes, and lettuce to achieve self-sufficiency were investigated. We analyzed planning documents by text mining and applied geographic information system procedures to evaluate this technology’s spatial efficacy in intra- and peri-urban spaces, considering aspects of the economy, sustainability, and spatial distribution. In a facility-based approach, we contrasted specific intra- and peri-urban site potentials with their different boundary conditions. A thereupon-based scenario allocates approximately 20% of the production volume in Berlin and 80% in its hinterland and emphasizes the crucial use of circular economy resources in both spaces. Policy recommendations and the transferability of this realistic approach will support the implementation of aquaponics.

Read the complete research at www.nature.com.

Baganz, G.F.M., Timpe, A., Baganz, D. et al. City or hinterland – site potentials for upscaled aquaponics in a Berlin case study. npj Urban Sustain 2, 29 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42949-022-00072-y