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Christine Wamsler

Christine Wamsler

Professor

Christine Wamsler

Implementing the urban food–water–energy nexus through urban laboratories : a systematic literature review

Author

  • Darin Wahl
  • Barry Ness
  • Christine Wamsler

Summary, in English

The sustainability of complex resource systems, such as the food, water, and energy (FWE) nexus, is increasingly threatened by climate change impacts, expanding populations, urbanization, and economic instability. However, while research on the topic has burgeoned, studies focused on solution development and implementation, especially at the urban level, have lagged behind. Against this background, we review the urban FWE nexus literature. We focus on the operationalization of solutions for implementation, and seek to identify opportunities for participatory approaches. Our results suggest that operationalization would benefit from: (1) more fully integrating urban social complexity; (2) extending our understanding of the nexus to include social responses to the impacts of interventions; and (3) ensuring that projects build knowledge that is not only actionable, but also credible, salient, and legitimate. We then discuss the potential of local, transdisciplinary approaches, in the form of urban laboratories, to shift the focus of FWE nexus research towards operationalization. We conclude with five recommendations: (1) knowledge development should extend to implementation; (2) stakeholders should be engaged, and be able to align solutions with the agency to implement; (3) research should move beyond material flows, and focus on the behaviors, habits, and social patterns that underpin urban complexity; (4) FWE nexus thinking should become part of participatory/laboratory approaches; and (5) policymakers should integrate nexus research into municipal strategies and plans.

Department/s

  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year

2021-01-03

Language

English

Pages

663-676

Publication/Series

Sustainability Science

Volume

16

Issue

2

Document type

Journal article review

Publisher

Springer

Topic

  • Environmental Sciences

Keywords

  • Experimentation
  • Food–water–energy nexus
  • Knowledge production
  • Living labs
  • Participatory methods
  • Transdisciplinary
  • Urban

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1862-4065