On June 11, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute Research Director Nevin Cohen participated in a two-day kickoff meeting for the Sustainable Urbanization Global Initiative (SUGI), a global research program to develop innovative solutions to urban problems at the nexus of food, water, and energy(FEW). Representatives of the 15 SUGI projects, which are composed of multi-disciplinary teams from 20 countries on 6 continents, came together to discuss methods, strategies, and opportunities to collaborate.

Dr. Cohen’s project (FEW-meter) focuses on the “metabolism” of urban farms and gardens. Working with researchers and farmers in five cities (Dortmund, Gorzow, London, Nantes, and New York), the FEW-meter team will create a digital platform to measure and analyze the ecological and social impacts of more than 40 different urban agriculture projects. The aim of the three-year study is to understand urban agriculture’s role in addressing food, water, and energy challenges in cities, and to help farmers improve the resource efficiency and social benefits of their projects. Funding for the US research comes from the National Science Foundation.