Edible City Solutions for a better world!

Water House and Roof Water Farm are open for visits again

After many difficulties, we were able to put our water house back, located at the, Bernburger Straße 22 in Berlin, into operation in December 2022, although we are still waiting for important electronic components – EdiCitNet project partner Nolde & Partner informed.

Another complicating factor was that we could not find a sanitation company that was willing or able to build the system to our specifications. So we had to take matters into our own hands and, of course, learned a lot in the process.

The plant now processes 10,000 litres of grey water daily into high-quality service water. As soon as it gets warmer and the neighbouring greenhouse can be planted again, we will also supply the greenhouse with service water again.

Before that, we will put the online monitoring into operation and try to increase the throughput again step by step. In the future, we want to use surplus service water that is not needed for flushing the toilets of the approximately 250 residents and for the greenhouse more for watering green areas, because the adjacent reed area, which contributes greatly to improving the living environment and the microclimate in summer through its high evaporation capacity, has suffered greatly from a lack of water in recent dry years.

On Saturday, 21.01.23, we had the first group of visitors with almost 40 participants from the Höhere Landbauschule Rotthalmünster in the water house, who were divided into two groups and informed about water and nutrient recycling as well as urban farming.

The Staatliche Höhere Landbauschule Rotthalmünster offers graduates of agricultural schools a commercially oriented advanced agricultural training. After successfully completing the school year, they are awarded the professional title “State-certified agricultural business economist”.

Farmers, who are particularly affected by climate change, drought and high fertiliser prices, are very open- minded when it comes to decentralised water and nutrient recycling and other forms of food production. This resulted in very interesting discussions for both sides that lasted over 2 hours.

Vision Workshop at the Living Lab in Oslo

On the 30th of September Kim Weger and Laura Martinez from Nabolagshager together with Vebjørn Stafseng from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences facilitated a vision workshop for the City Team of the Living Lab in Oslo – the Linderud community garden.

The EdiCitNet project has been central for the establishment of Linderud community garden and its operation and development since 2020. Nowadays the community garden is in a process of change since the EdiCitNet project is coming to an end. Developing a common desired future for the community garden will help the city team in Oslo to begin thinking about the steps needed to get there and to build wider ownership of the place.

During the workshop each City Team member was asked to share how they wanted the community garden to look like in 2027. To achieve the joint future vision, participants were guided through an exercise, a mental journey, by the facilitators using different tools such as dialogue and drawing. First, all the participants shared their individual vision in small groups, and when they reached an agreement, each group presented their shared vision to everyone. The facilitators had a large sheet of paper where they wrote down the main ideas that were presented and made an attempt to create a drawing of the common future vision for the garden.

Based on the common vision, participants were asked to think about what resources and stakeholders they would need to make this vision happen in reality. Resources are any ‘thing’ that they need to use to maintain or bring them towards achieving their values. Resources can be physical resources like soil and tools, a kitchen space, or funding, or non-physical resources such as new skills, knowledge, or volunteer support. Stakeholders are all of the people who are affected by or have power over affecting the project, and they can be negative or positive. To help them to map these resources and stakeholders, participants reflected individually, and wrote their answers on sticky notes.

This shared vision, together with the resources/stakeholders mapping, will form the basis for the development of a detailed action plan which will include the most important steps to take in the near future to move towards the vision.

Linderud community garden awarded at the Oslo Municipality's Garden Awards 2022
EdiCitNet vision workshop in the Oslo Living Lab

EdiCitNet project partner Nolde & Partner wins the AQUA AWARD 2022

The network of water management MARIS Berlin Brandenburg—Management of urban water cycles annually awards the AQUA AWARD for outstanding achievements in the water industry, as well as the AQUA SCIENCE AWARD for excellence of young scientists.

This year, the AQUA AWARD was awarded to the project consortium consisting of Berlinovo Grundstücksentwicklungs GmbH, Nolde & Partner – innovative Wasserkonzepte GmbH and Lokus GmbH for a gray water treatment system with waste heat recovery during the new construction of a student residence in Berlin Pankow with 399 apartments. The jury praised the state-owned housing association for the courage to implement an innovative project that contributes to Berlin’s climate goals and can serve as a pioneer in the field. The executing companies, experienced in the planning and implementation of such technologies, were commended for the low-maintenance and efficient plant, which already generates five times more energy than is needed to operate the building when it is less than half occupied In addition, 20% energy savings are achieved in domestic hot water heating and approximately 30% fresh water is saved. The project demonstrates the untapped potential of gray water recycling, and serves as a reference point for the city.

Photo courtesy of MARIS Berlin-Brandenburg

EdiCitNet Annual Meeting 2022 in Ljubljana

Thankfully, this year’s annual meeting could finally be held in person, after Covid-19 restrictions forced the last two meetings to be online. Consortium members from ten different countries and a total of thirty partner organizations met in Ljubljana at the beginning of September. The four-day event, jointly organized by the University of Ljubljana and the Šempeter-Vrtojba City Team, offered a varied program which perfectly balanced presentations, workshops and field trips.

The first day started with a welcome lunch, followed by presentations on the current state of work of all work packages. On the second day, thanks to the Pecha Kucha presentations that the City Teams had prepared, participants could learn, how the project is evolving in both Follower and Front Runner cities. Following the presentations, different work packages facilitated workshops on their topics and then there was a talk by a representative of the City Municipality of Ljubljana, who explained what the city’s strategy for urban agriculture is. We concluded the day with a visit to two urban gardens and a boat tour.

Early in the morning of the third day, attendees got on a bus which took them to Šempeter, where we visited a state-of-the-art waste water treatment plant, the biotechnical school and the municipality. On the way back to Ljubljana, we stopped at the Ajdovščina polygon, where we saw how they experiment with crops to find out the suitability of treated waste water for irrigation.

The last day was dedicated to brainstorming what the Edible Cities Network will look like after the life of the project and how best to ensure its continuation. We headed back home tired from the intense experience, but with lots of newly learned things to reflect on, happy to have seen our colleagues after so long and motivated to keep working towards a more sustainable and resilient urban future!