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Valentina has a transdisciplinary background as architect, urban planner, and researcher. After graduating at Politecnico di Milano in 2016, she worked for several years in South Africa where she investigated the topics of informal settlements, rogue economies, and radical landscapes. After this experience, she returned to Italy where she worked as an architect on public space upgrading. She decided to undertake her PhD to connect the topics of urbanization in developing countries and sustainable growth. Valentina was awarded a full scholarship by the Global Challenges Doctoral Center in 2020.

Dr Silvio Caputo
Professor Jaime Hernández-García

The Urban Agriculture Nexus in informal settlements

An investigation on the benefits of urban food growing in the barrios of Bogotá

The aim of this research is to assess the contribution of urban agriculture (UA) to the sustainable development of contemporary cities, with particular focus on the Global South. The case study for this investigation is Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, where urban agriculture projects have been steadily implemented during the last 20 years. This investigation will estimate the productivity of the urban gardens of  Bogotá from a qualitative and quantitative perspective.

The FEW-meter methodology is a research framework that has been adapted to the case study of Bogotá, where it was employed to collect data from 15 case studies. The data will be subsequently modelled to obtain yearly productivity and consumption figures at the city scale.

The FEW meter combines assessment methodologies from Food Energy Water nexus approaches and participatory social investigation, on the backdrop of a urban metabolism exploration framework. The aim of this research framework is to assess the environmental efficiency of the urban food production and how resources (water, energy, compost and other inputs) are not only employed to grow crops, but they also contribute to generating social benefits such as community cohesion, individual well-being, skill improvement, and environmental education. 

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