Six researchers from UPSC developed a concept for more sustainable urban farming. They presented their idea last November at PLATSEN in Umeå, a conference that aims to bring together different actors to discuss about sustainable developments. A short video describing their so-called eMTE concept is now available online.
The concept called eMTE (electronic Multi-Trophic Ecosystem) comprises several stages of a food chain like aquaculture, compost recycling, bioreactors as well as aero-/hydroponics. These so-called trophic layers are electronically controlled and interconnected with each other to form a small-scale ecosystem. Like this, nutrients produced in one trophic layer can support another layer reducing the amount of waste and energy that needs to be invested to produce food. Employing electronics offers great possibilities to monitor the different trophic layers and therefore makes the entire ecosystem more modular, which thus eases its use within complex structures such as found in cities.
The eMTE project was initiated by Olivier Keech, assistant professor at Umeå University. His team, namely Nicolas Delhomme, Simon Law, Stefano Papazian, Alonso Serrano, Bastian Schiffthaler and Bernard Wessels, consists of fundamental scientists with different specialisations. All of them are driven by the idea to improve urban farming and urban food production while in parallel increasing the awareness about human relationship to ecosystems.
“It was great to get the opportunity to present our eMTE concept at PLATSEN”, says Olivier Keech, leader of the eMTE project. “We got lots of positive feedback as well as new contacts to collaborate with, which is encouraging. Our idea is to develop this project further so it can be soon integrated into existing and novel urban farming projects.”
PLATSEN is thought as a platform where decision makers, politicians, scientists, NGOs and people from public and private sectors can meet and exchange and discuss ideas about sustainability in an urban environment. The event is initiated by the Swedish Scientific Council for Sustainability in collaboration with several other actors from the public and private sectors e.g. Umeå Municipality and Umeå University.
Video link: https://vimeo.com/200953865