SiEUGreen:1st year!

SiEUGreen:1st year!

One year will be marked on January 1st 2019 that the Sino-European Innovative Green and Smart Cities project (SiEUGreen) is in progress. Funded by the European Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, it is a project that aims in the research and development of urban agriculture techniques by building on the model of zero waste and circular economy and its total cost is 7.7 million euros. The SiEUGreen project is a part of the larger Horizon2020 project, it is coordinated by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and will run until December 31st 2021.

For the past year EU and China have been exchanging methods and technologies contributing in the advancement of urban agriculture and urban resilience in both continents, and will continue to do so until the end of the project. However, the SiEUGreen project has been planned in such a way that even after 2021, people and communities will be able to continue engaging in the same activities since the infrastructure will continue to exist. In total, nineteen beneficiaries from Europe and China, including researchers, technology providers, local authorities and citizen communities, collaborate and overlook the execution of the project which is divided in many parts.

Cases that show how the different methods are to be implemented are already established in both Europe and China: in Denmark, Norway and Turkey, on one side, and in Beijing and Changsa on the other. Some of the places that are being used are an old hospital, unused buildings, municipal areas and community farms, and the practiced techniques include fertilizers produced from food waste, aquaponic and hydroponic cultures, paper-based plantations, greenhouses and many more.

The SiEUGreen project is based on the idea that the availability of rural areas is declining and that every city’s surface can be potentially used. To that end, urban agriculture is considered to be one of the solutions that actually has an impact on societies and their members. Also, it is environmentally friendly since the circular economy plan leaves nothing to go to waste. So far, the majority of the work has been invested into preparing the implementation of the project, both as a whole and the individual parts of it, and the installment of the showcases where the selected methods are being put to use. After one year of practice the first results are being gathered and are ready for analysis and evaluation. The results of the evaluation might affect the decision-making for a potential adjustment of the project’s execution plan, since the different parts of the SiEUGreen project are expected to be completed in different time points.

One of the most important concept, and the core idea of the SiEUGreen project, is the evolution of urban agriculture once the project is over. The advancement of the familiar techniques, as well as the creation of new ones, are the reason why this project started. Over the implementation period until the December of 2021, the foundations will be placed and after the project ends urban farming can expand in such a manner that it can become the main solution to people’s need for food and at the same time clean the cities from their organic waste.

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