In many urban areas, pathways of essential resources such as food, water and energy are subject to multiple inefficiencies. Circular economies try to minimize wastages by reusing or recycling the waste products within each resource stream. Explicitly linking these circular economies will enable us to exploit synergies between these cycles, thereby further reducing waste in the urban food-energy-water nexus.
This PhD aims to analyse the potential for waste reduction in urban food-energy-water nexus by explicitly linking the circular economies. The PhD focuses on System Dynamics Modelling (SDM) and Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) of food, energy and water cycles in urban or urbanising environments. Innovatively, these cycles will be modelled as an integrated system, explicitly recognizing that they do not operate in isolation and that feedbacks can cause non-linearly propagating effects.
The modelling will be used to:
- suggest improvements to reduce overall waste in the nexus;
- illustrate how intended improvements affect the resource fluxes in other cycles;
- identify possible bottlenecks, thresholds and other potential problems under different management or usage scenarios.
The project focuses on four case study cities (metropolitan areas), located in the UK, the Netherlands, Brazil and South Africa.
This PhD project is linked to a broader research project (Waste FEW-ULL), funded by ESRC, which aims to map, model and reduce waste in the urban food-energy-water nexus in the four cities.
* Supervisor: Dr. Marco Van De Wiel.