Sustainable Urbanisation Global Initiative (SUGI)

Food-Water-Energy Nexus

The interactions between food, water and energy sectors, both now and over the next few decades, are of critical interest to policy-makers, scientists, and society at large. By 2050, the world population is projected to increase to around 9 billion, with the number of people living in urban areas expected to double. These trends in population density and movement, coupled with land use change and climate variability, will lead to major increases in demand for resources and hold important implications for security and social justice. The reciprocal and dynamic processes of urbanisation, including the physical movements of populations, the build-up of city territories, transformation of economic structures, extension of suburban sprawl, and re-urbanisation, will result in increasing regional stress on the urban food-water-energy (FWE) system.

To date, we have a limited understanding of the FWE system’s complexity, resilience and thresholds. Investigations of this complex system will produce discoveries that cannot emerge from research on food or water or energy systems alone. An urban FWE nexus approach focuses on intersections and potential synergies between sectors and fields commonly seen apart in business, policy, and research. Thus, the FWE nexus approach can play a pivotal role in fostering sustainable urbanisation, by proposing potential solutions to govern resource interdependencies through comprehensive spatial perspectives and multi-level governance strategies.

Source: Midterm Valorization Event: Sustainable Urbanisation Global Initiative (SUGI). Food-Water-Energy Nexus. 2020. European Union Horizon 2020.