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Food on the roof in Kiruna

Published: 21 December 2017

Urban farming (on city grounds and roofs) has become increasingly popular across the world. Now, researchers at Luleå University of Technology want to develop this in a very cold climate, using the latest technology for reuse of energy in buildings and automation.

There are four researchers from three different research areas, together with a food scientist from SLU in Umeå who will take on this challenge along with Kiruna municipality. They will develop a model to identify optimal locations for growing mushrooms and vegetables based on big data about energy, building, etc. The model should be used to draft a city wide strategy that is in line with the new National Swedish Food Safety Strategy.

"Through the recovery of heat in buildings and the choice of smart building materials, combined with the latest technology in solar cells and LED lighting, we think this can be a success," says Agatino Rizzo, researcher in architecture at Luleå University of Technology.

Environmentally, this type of small-scale urban agriculture will reduce our dependence on poorly controlled food chains while reducing the environmental costs of transport.

"The interest is great for fresh, biologically grown food that is proudly produced locally and can be sold to local restaurants and to other customers. Urban agriculture will bring people closer to nature. It can be a source of education for local schools and surrounding communities," says Agatino Rizzo.

Agatino Rizzo

Rizzo, Agatino - Associate Professor

Organisation: Architecture, Architecture and Water, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 493438
Room: F247 - Luleå»
Johan Wenngren

Wenngren, Johan - Senior Lecturer

Organisation: Information systems, Digital Services and Systems, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 492059
Room: A3411 - Luleå»
Marcus Sandberg

Sandberg, Marcus - Associate Professor

Organisation: Construction Management and Building Technology , Industrialized and sustainable construction, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 493072
Room: F932 - Luleå»