Advanced

Implementing the urban food–water–energy nexus through urban laboratories : a systematic literature review

Wahl, Darin LU ; Ness, Barry LU and Wamsler, Christine LU (2021) In Sustainability Science 16(2). p.663-676
Abstract

The sustainability of complex resource systems, such as the food, water, and energy (FWE) nexus, is increasingly threatened by climate change impacts, expanding populations, urbanization, and economic instability. However, while research on the topic has burgeoned, studies focused on solution development and implementation, especially at the urban level, have lagged behind. Against this background, we review the urban FWE nexus literature. We focus on the operationalization of solutions for implementation, and seek to identify opportunities for participatory approaches. Our results suggest that operationalization would benefit from: (1) more fully integrating urban social complexity; (2) extending our understanding of the nexus to... (More)

The sustainability of complex resource systems, such as the food, water, and energy (FWE) nexus, is increasingly threatened by climate change impacts, expanding populations, urbanization, and economic instability. However, while research on the topic has burgeoned, studies focused on solution development and implementation, especially at the urban level, have lagged behind. Against this background, we review the urban FWE nexus literature. We focus on the operationalization of solutions for implementation, and seek to identify opportunities for participatory approaches. Our results suggest that operationalization would benefit from: (1) more fully integrating urban social complexity; (2) extending our understanding of the nexus to include social responses to the impacts of interventions; and (3) ensuring that projects build knowledge that is not only actionable, but also credible, salient, and legitimate. We then discuss the potential of local, transdisciplinary approaches, in the form of urban laboratories, to shift the focus of FWE nexus research towards operationalization. We conclude with five recommendations: (1) knowledge development should extend to implementation; (2) stakeholders should be engaged, and be able to align solutions with the agency to implement; (3) research should move beyond material flows, and focus on the behaviors, habits, and social patterns that underpin urban complexity; (4) FWE nexus thinking should become part of participatory/laboratory approaches; and (5) policymakers should integrate nexus research into municipal strategies and plans.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Experimentation, Food–water–energy nexus, Knowledge production, Living labs, Participatory methods, Transdisciplinary, Urban
in
Sustainability Science
volume
16
issue
2
pages
663 - 676
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85098693639
ISSN
1862-4065
DOI
10.1007/s11625-020-00893-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0163a8f6-e57b-4e4a-8517-f24514795545
date added to LUP
2021-01-13 12:42:11
date last changed
2021-04-16 12:31:30
@article{0163a8f6-e57b-4e4a-8517-f24514795545,
  abstract     = {<p>The sustainability of complex resource systems, such as the food, water, and energy (FWE) nexus, is increasingly threatened by climate change impacts, expanding populations, urbanization, and economic instability. However, while research on the topic has burgeoned, studies focused on solution development and implementation, especially at the urban level, have lagged behind. Against this background, we review the urban FWE nexus literature. We focus on the operationalization of solutions for implementation, and seek to identify opportunities for participatory approaches. Our results suggest that operationalization would benefit from: (1) more fully integrating urban social complexity; (2) extending our understanding of the nexus to include social responses to the impacts of interventions; and (3) ensuring that projects build knowledge that is not only actionable, but also credible, salient, and legitimate. We then discuss the potential of local, transdisciplinary approaches, in the form of urban laboratories, to shift the focus of FWE nexus research towards operationalization. We conclude with five recommendations: (1) knowledge development should extend to implementation; (2) stakeholders should be engaged, and be able to align solutions with the agency to implement; (3) research should move beyond material flows, and focus on the behaviors, habits, and social patterns that underpin urban complexity; (4) FWE nexus thinking should become part of participatory/laboratory approaches; and (5) policymakers should integrate nexus research into municipal strategies and plans.</p>},
  author       = {Wahl, Darin and Ness, Barry and Wamsler, Christine},
  issn         = {1862-4065},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {663--676},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Implementing the urban food–water–energy nexus through urban laboratories : a systematic literature review},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11625-020-00893-9},
  doi          = {10.1007/s11625-020-00893-9},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2021},
}