11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
The increasing concentration of people in urban environments means that social, economic and environmental demands for living and working are under pressure.
The lifestyle of people, varying during lifetime, is influenced by the direct physical environment. Greening the city increases air quality, reduces noise nuisance, seduces to physical activity, reduces stress and aggression and increases social cohesion. Wageningen Metropolitan Solutions provides information on ecosystem services of urban green infrastructure and the urban ecosystem; develops planning, design and assessment tools to optimize urban green; creates Cost & Benefit Analysis of urban green; explores new approaches like biomimicry and its added value; and understands how to reach and to cooperate with different urban groups and stakeholders.
Examples of WUR projects
Cities use up to 75% of the natural resources and produce 60-80% of carbon gas emission. The transition to a circular design of cities is getting more and more urgent. With partners from science (TU Delft, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT), industry (shell, KPN, IBM, Cisco) and government (city of Amsterdam, city of Boston) Wageningen University & Research has developed the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions. An institute in the area of metropolitan technology and design. Amsterdam functions as a living lab for metropolitan research and acts as an accelerator to translate the research results to other cities and metropoles.
Read more about the project
Urban agriculture can contribute to urban needs by connecting local food and energy production to community goals, like care for the urban environment, room for recreation in urban areas, care-facilities or educational possibilities. Urban agriculture can be a garden on a rooftop or balcony, or professional urban food production and processing at the edges of the city. Urban agriculture can contribute to a liveable sustainable city in many ways. It may help to reduce the urban environmental footprint. More than half of the global population lives in cities. This urbanisation leads to high claims on land and space, a growing need for liveable urban structures and increasing demands for recognisable, locally produced food. Cities and their surrounding countryside are becoming more and more entwined. WUR sees opportunities for new forms of agriculture.