Journal article

Food, water, energy, waste: an examination of socio-technical issues for urban prosumers: Part 2 (Results and Discussion)

Food consumption Energy consumption Water conservation Land use Waste management Precinct indicators Waste minimization Gold Coast

The purpose of this paper (parts I and II) is to examine the socio-technical factors that affect urban food production and associated energy, water and waste services. Part I introduced the growing role of prosumers, discussed the context of the human relationship with food and demonstrated how citizens’ choices and actions regarding food consumption and production in urban settings are shaped by the economic, cultural and infrastructure systems in which they live. A residential estate on the urban fringe of Australia’s subtropical Gold Coast was described, setting the context for a mixed methods analysis of quantitative and qualitative data gathered through estate maps, development planning documents, visual observations, interviews and surveys. Part II presents the results, analysed around the themes of food production, consumption and development infrastructure (physical and social). An integrated approach to land-use, energy, water and waste was instrumental in enabling ubiquitous high biodiversity food production, highlighting planning decisions that affect the ability of urban prosumers to incorporate sustainability into their food practices.

The case study demonstrates that an integrated approach to urban infrastructure can support and enable urban prosumer food practices. A framework to evaluate urban neighbourhoods in terms of potential for creating synergies between land use, water, waste and energy infrastructure is presented and an initial performance indicator framework is proposed, to understand, develop and manage prosumer-driven urban agriculture in the context of integrated energy, water, waste and food services.

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Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Resource Use in Food Chains including Workshop on Energy Recovery Conversion and Management