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Fertile cities: Nutrient flows from new sanitation to urban agriculture
Group: Environmental Technology, Wageningen University
Promotor & Supervisors:
Dr. ir. Jan Weijma (Sub-department of Environmental Technology, WUR)
Prof. dr. Grietje Zeeman (Sub-department of Environmental Technology, WUR)
Prof. dr. Oene Oenema (Department of Soil Quality, WUR; Wageningen Environmental Research)
Developments in urban agriculture and new sanitation systems bring about new narratives to the status quo of both food production and human excreta management, and reintroduce the opportunity to partially close nutrient cycles at the urban scale. Urban agriculture is the production of food in and around (peri-urban) a city. New sanitation systems collect, transport and treat streams containing human excreta and aim to recover valuable resources from those streams. The recognition of the mutual benefit for nutrient exchange between urban agriculture and new sanitation has increased. In this regard, urban agriculture has a demand for nutrients and new sanitation a supply of nutrients, which if matched, can facilitate nutrient recycling and thereby minimize nutrient losses. Nevertheless, numerous challenges remain to match nutrient flows between urban agriculture and new sanitation. Not only do the quantities and qualities of nutrient demand and supply need to be matched – taking into account parameters for plant requirements, as well as human hygiene and environmental safety (e.g. pathogens, heavy metals) – but also spatial and temporal dynamics of demand and supply (e.g. when and where fertilizers are needed and when and where nutrients are excreted) need to be optimized for coupling of nutrient flows. This thesis primarily focuses on the three macronutrients, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), as well as organic matter (OM), although, other macro- and micronutrients are tangentially discussed. The objective of this research is to contribute to uncovering the potential of integrating urban agriculture and new sanitation so as to establish nutrient recirculation between the two.
By September we will present an overview of SENSE dissertations on this page, with links to the full texts of the dissertations.