Researcher Susana Toboso-Chavero from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB), in collaboration with the research group Sostenpira defended her thesis on “Integrating the food, energy and water nexus on urban rooftops”.
The study is focused on sustainable urban strategies. These strategies cover many different fields and are key to transforming cities into healthier, fairer, and greener sites. Cities are often based on a linear economy system, and three of the most essential resources required in urban areas are food, energy and water. Hence, cities must find circular solutions, closing loops of energy and materials, and avoiding the generation of waste and emissions. One of these circular solutions is the use of underutilized rooftops to implement the production of vegetables, energy or rainwater harvesting i.e. the Roof Mosaic approach named by authors.
They advised to set up different pilot projects in different urban forms and types of residents, aiming to monitor and test the Roof Mosaic and the inclusion of all stakeholders in the design of urban strategies to match their preferences and needs with effective climate change solutions in cities. Pilot projects can help to bridge between the societal and political support for urban farming.
The thesis was under the supervision of Professor Xavier Gabarrell, Professor Gara Villalba and Dr. Cristina Madrid-López. The evaluation committee was composed of Professor Francesco Orsini, Dr. Johannes Langemeyer and Dr. Jorge Sierra-Pérez.