On 17 February 2022, FoodE moderated the grand finale of the international student challenge Urban Farm 2022. The yearly competition aims to find the most sustainable environmental strategy by integrating a wide range of disciplines: from agriculture to economics, engineering, and social sciences. This year, student teams presented their urban agriculture project proposals for the European cities of Stockholm (Sweden) and Bologna (Italy). The winning teams received a monetary prize of €4000 euros. A multidisciplinary jury, consisting of international experts and scientists, evaluated the proposals based on climate management, water and mineral strategies, pest management, and enabling forms of employment for disadvantaged workers.
Increasing inclusivity in Stockholm
The first area, Solberga, is about 1700 square meters and located south-west of Stockholm. It is in need for redevelopment to make it more welcoming and inclusive. Therefore, the focal point in the jury evaluations is its social dimension. In addition, the redevelopment should blend in with the surroundings, include support for gardening, and reuse existing elements of the garden as much as possible. Three project proposals were assessed by the jury. The winning team for this area is Greenius (73 points) consisting of five students from UniLaSalle. Their project is called Grön Gård and includes a step-based idea, adaptable to budgets and resident’s needs. The team was closely followed by Urban Transformers (71 points) from the University of Bologna and Venice. They distinguished themselves by connecting digital and natural environments.
A space for collaboration in Bologna
The second area, located in Bologna, is Serre of Giardini Margherita and has the size of about 2100 square meters. The aim is to redevelop this area to strengthen collaboration between people from different disciplines with respect to climate change and sustainability. The final proposal should be a space suited for events (debates, conferences, workshops), outdoor education, coworking, and a concept store. Seven project proposals were assessed. The winning team for this area is Green Spot with 79 points. This team consists of students from Cairo University, University of Bologna, and the Catholic University of Milan. Green Spot managed to win the online voting, giving them a significantly higher score.
By bringing together universities, research institutes, SMEs, NGOs, and city councils, FoodE supports new initiatives to combat food security issues while fighting social injustice and helping the local economy.