Tools for Edible Cities: A Review of Tools for Planning and Assessing Edible Nature-Based Solutions
2.1. What Do We Mean by Tools?
2.2. What Do We Understand as Indicators?
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. Characterisation of Tools
- Typology of the tool: Information-based tools, which organise and display information by providing visual and consultative outputs such as catalogues or handbooks, or model-based tools, which provide quantitative estimations of performance and impacts expressed as indicators, models or equations (e.g., estimating yield or water needs).
- Geographical level of policy or regulation: Local or regional, national, European or international.
- Phases of edible NBS’s full cycle implementation assessed by the tool: Planning and Design (e.g., estimating needed resources or aiding design), operation and monitoring (e.g., data collection, operational and maintenance tasks such as harvesting or events), assessment (impact, performance indicators) and communication (e.g., aiding in the dissemination of edible NBS).
- Sustainability dimensions addressed: Social (addressing aspects related to wellbeing and equity, social cohesion, cultural values), economic (dealing with aspects related to job creation or businesses’ potential) or environmental (addressing environmental aspects such as carbon sequestration, air quality, water management or biodiversity).
- Type of provided support or stakeholders’ engagement: Inform (one-way communication from project to citizens, e.g., handbook), consult (two-way communication where stakeholders can provide their opinions, e.g., survey), involve (stakeholders are passively engaged in the project, e.g., focus groups), collaborate (stakeholders are actively engaged in the project, e.g., collecting data) or train (the tool is used to enable skills and capabilities).
3.2. Systematic Selection of Tools
- Accessibility: the tools can be used by the general public (through open access or by using a license).
- Fully operational: the tools are finished and fully working.
3.3. Further Analysis on Model-Based Tools
4.1. Characterisation of Tools
4.2. Systematic Selection of Tools
- Input data provided by the end user to specify their needs, such as geographical location (e.g., city or region), boundaries of the area, (e.g., digital map layer), urban challenge to be addressed, and local population.
- Monitoring data: e.g., honeybee activity, “Lnight” and “Lden” for environmental noise (indicators defined by EU Environmental Noise Directive (END): for the day, evening and night periods (Lden) and for night periods (Lnight)), electrical conductivity, pH, or water infiltration rate.
- External data sources, such as meteorological data from public stations or satellite imagery.
- Calculated impact indicators, e.g., life cycle assessment/analysis, economic evaluation of the edible NBS, urban food production, urban food demand, space availability, carbon footprint, jobs created (full time equivalent), inflow of mass and energy, estimated limit of sustainable energy production and total energy in the reservoir, crop yield indicator, spatial footprint indicator, and cultivated area. The method used by the tools for calculating the impact indicators is usually not provided, except for grassroot tools such as Farming Concrete, allowing local communities to make rough estimates.
4.3. Further Analysis of Model-Based Tools
- FarmAR app: A smartphone application that provides information about soil and crop health by using remote sensing product databases.
- Farming Concrete: A web-based toolkit calculating indicators based on data provided by more than 400 community gardens. Moreover, the toolkit offers a total of 18 very practical data collection methods to support local communities in monitoring their edible NBS. Collected data are organised into five categories: food production data, environmental data, social data, health data and economic data.
- GeoFood: This tool provides innovative concepts illustrating how to increase the economic viability of joining geothermal heat infrastructure and circular food production systems for aquaculture.
- UrbanGreenUP: NBS Selection tool (UGU NBS) recommends NBS for a selected city, based on specified challenges and the capabilities of a particular organisation. It helps cities to select the most appropriate NBS to tackle identified environmental problems and to become more resilient to climate change.
- UNaLab: NBS Simulation and Visualization Tool (UNL—NBS-SVT) can be used to visualise the results of the UNaLab systemic decision support tool for assessing the multiple impacts of NBS. Different scenarios can be simulated and visualised, i.e., a reference scenario, nature-based scenarios, population growth scenarios, climate change scenarios and combined scenarios. Additionally, results can be provided for different time periods.
- Parcels: For the selected area and number of inhabitants, this tool calculates the agricultural land needed to achieve food self-sufficiency. Moreover, it provides information on the agricultural jobs potentially created and the ecological impacts (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions, pollution of water resources, and effects on biodiversity) associated with possible changes in food production methods and/or in dietary habits.
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS||Environment||Tools covering the conceptual role of edible NBS in terms of enhancing environmental sustainability, e.g., preserving and enhancing biodiversity, promoting a sustainable drainage, or reducing diffuse pollution.|
|Water||Tools dealing with water needs and/or water management in edible NBS.|
|Social||Tools that relate to demographic aspects, groups or personal relationships and number of jobs created for a certain type of edible NBS.|
|Economic||Tools dealing with economic values of edible NBS and economic mechanisms (nonprofitable, business-focused).|
|Systems||Tools providing insights about interrelations between urban metabolism, circular systems and edible NBS.|
|Policy||Tools providing examples and guidance in terms of urban planning and wellbeing policies related to implementation and functioning of edible NBS.|
|Production||Tools providing information on production and processing of edible goods in edible NBS.|
|Spatial||Tools dealing with information regarding size, arrangements, sites and locations of edible NBS.|
|Design||Tools showcasing case studies of landscape, architectural and urban design processes of edible NBS.|
|Social media||Tools including an informal space for user interaction and knowledge exchange, such as blogs or forums.|
|Guidance||Tools providing step by step guides in terms of, for example, gaining finance or improving yields.|
|Metrics||Tools providing numeric evidence (raw data or indicators) in terms of, for example, biodiversity, number of users or yield.|
|Narrative||Tools providing a narrative evidence of edible NBS (e.g., factsheets, case studies) in terms of, for example, biodiversity, number of users or yield.|
|Impact||Tools providing an impact assessment (qualitative or quantitative) of edible NBS in terms of environmental and socio-economic effects and benefits.|
|Bottom-up||Tools that include processes led by individuals or community groups.|
|Top-down||Tools that include processes led by institutions, municipalities, governments, etc.|
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Mino, E.; Pueyo-Ros, J.; Škerjanec, M.; Castellar, J.A.C.; Viljoen, A.; Istenič, D.; Atanasova, N.; Bohn, K.; Comas, J. Tools for Edible Cities: A Review of Tools for Planning and Assessing Edible Nature-Based Solutions. Water 2021, 13, 2366. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172366
Mino E, Pueyo-Ros J, Škerjanec M, Castellar JAC, Viljoen A, Istenič D, Atanasova N, Bohn K, Comas J. Tools for Edible Cities: A Review of Tools for Planning and Assessing Edible Nature-Based Solutions. Water. 2021; 13(17):2366. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172366Chicago/Turabian Style
Mino, Eric, Josep Pueyo-Ros, Mateja Škerjanec, Joana A. C. Castellar, André Viljoen, Darja Istenič, Nataša Atanasova, Katrin Bohn, and Joaquim Comas. 2021. "Tools for Edible Cities: A Review of Tools for Planning and Assessing Edible Nature-Based Solutions" Water 13, no. 17: 2366. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13172366