The explosion in urban growth presents opportunities as well as challenges to our environment and our food systems. Many cities start looking for ways to feed themselves sustainably and to create a liveable and healthy environment for urban dwellers.
To support these developments, Wageningen University & Research is organising a Student Challenge to “Design the Ultimate Urban Greenhouse”.
The Challenge is part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Wageningen University and will be organised every other year.
Multidisciplinary student teams are challenged to bring professional food production (back) into an urban neighbourhood, connecting it with local resource flows and e.g. local (smart) energy systems. Their design will be based on an existing location in one of the Netherlands’ major cities, and teams will receive all relevant specifications. Their design encourages citizens to actively engage with the sustainable production and consumption of healthy food. Their business plan shows which values are created and proves that their design is worth investing in. The Challenge integrates social, economic, environmental and technical aspects.
The Challenge is open to student teams from all around the world, and teams may comprise students from different universities and universities of applied sciences.
Who has taken up the Challenge?
23 Student teams with students from over 30 universities will each work on a ground-breaking design for food production in an urban setting. They come from ten countries: US, Brazil, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Germany, UK and the Netherlands.
An extraordinary location has been selected for the designs of the Ultimate Urban Greenhouse: the ‘Bajes Kwartier’ in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Bajes Quarter houses the former infamous 'Bijlmer Prison', and the teams are basing their designs on one of the prison towers.
What do the teams have to submit?
Teams are expected to come up with innovative concepts and technologies for an “urban greenhouse”. We interpret “greenhouse” broadly and include - besides a greenhouse - also vertical farming, indoor farming and integrated growing systems such as aquaponics. Central to the concept is the significant, more than symbolic, production of food in the urban environment, and the integration in local circular flows.
Teams don't have to innovate on all of the criteria mentioned below. They can chose the element(s) that their team will revolutionize and use best practices for the others. Their entry consists of:
- a dossier describing the full concept;
- a 2-minute video in which the concept is presented;
- proof of concept and demo of the key enabling technologies or innovations;
- a pitch-presentation for a jury of experts from industry, cities and science.
How will their entries be assessed?
Entries will be assessed by an expert jury from business, science and cities, based on the criteria listed here.
We expect an exhilarating finale when all teams pitch their concept and innovations for the jury on August 28th, 2018.
The Jury will consist of five renowned experts. Each the jury members will have an in-depth understanding of one of the disciplines relevant for the judging the submissions. The list of the jury members can be found here.
What's to win?
The winning team will be given the opportunity to present their design to relevant international audiences (maximum budget: €10.000).
We are able to organize this Challenge thanks to the generous support of many partners and experts. Our main partners include: Rabobank, Amsterdam Institutue for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, Klasmann-Deilmann, Bajes Kwartier B.V., FABRICations
You can leave your name and email address on the right side of this page, to receive updates on the Challenge automatically.