Tools for Edible Cities: A Review of Tools for Planning and Assessing Edible Nature-Based Solutions

Eric Mino, Josep Pueyo-ros, Mateja Škerjanec, Joana A.C. Castellar, André Viljoen, Darja Istenič, Nataša Atanasova, Katrin Bohn, Joaquim Comas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In the last five years, European research and innovation programmes have prioritised the development of online catalogues and tools (handbooks, models, etc.) to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). However, only a few catalogues and toolkits within European programmes are directly related to mainstreaming of NBS for food production (i.e., edible NBS). Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to present existing NBS tools through the eyes of productive urban landscapes. We reviewed 32 projects related to NBS and 50 tools were identified and characterised. Then, the six tools already available and provided indicators were further analysed in terms of their format and knowledge domains. Our main conclusion demonstrates that there is a lack of tools capable of supporting users for planning and implementing edible NBS; calculating the food potential of a city and/or of individual edible NBS, including the needed resources for implementation and operation (water, nutrients, energy); and assessing their urban design value, environmental and socio-economic impacts. Moreover, when they do exist, there is a resistance to share the models and equations behind the tools to allow other projects to reuse or validate them, a fact which is contrary to the open science principles upheld by many public research agencies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2366
    JournalWater (Switzerland)
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Funding: This research and the APC were funded by EU Horizon Programmes, EdiCitNet project grant number 776665 and the COST Action CA17133 Circular City (“Implementing nature based solutions for creating a resourceful circular city”, http://www.circular‐

    This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited


    • Circular economy
    • Decision support systems
    • Edible cities
    • Nature-based solutions
    • Productive urban landscapes
    • Urban agriculture


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