Study examines role of urban agriculture in food-energy-water nexus policies

A new paper in Landscape and Urban Planning examines policies to advance urban agriculture that address the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus and the complex relationships among the flows of food, energy, and water in cities.

As urban agriculture becomes more prevalent, policies have been established to regulate and support the practice. In this study, a research team including Associate Professor Nevin Cohen and Adjunct Assistant Professor Rositsa T. Ilieva characterize existing FEW nexus policies based on policy data from five case study cities in Europe and the U.S. to analyze their relationships to urban agriculture and to identify policy types that support resource-efficient practices.

The researchers found that despite extensive evidence of the importance of the interconnections among resources, urban policies have seldom considered food, energy, and water together, largely due to siloed decision-making bodies that lead to compartmentalized policies.

An analysis of policy data from Dortmund, Gorz´ow Wielkopolski, London, Nantes, and New York City found that the number, type, and degree of support for nexus policies vary among the cities. Most urban agriculture policies are implemented at the local scale, and few incorporate all elements of the nexus.


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