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.

New Publication: Successful scaling of Edible City Solutions to promote food citizenship and sustainability in food system transitions

New publication from the Edible Cities Network! Colleagues from the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Oslo Metropolitan University have published a new article in Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, exploring upscaling processes for edible nature-based solutions.

Sustainable, productive and biodiversity-friendly urban landscapes are a strategic step in transitioning to future-proof, liveable and healthy cities Edible nature-based solutions, otherwise known as “Edible City Solutions”, comprise a wide range of different forms of sustainable urban food production, distribution and consumption which use innovative principles of ecological design combined with closed material and energy flows. Edible City Solutions contribute to a local green economy, reduce cities’ overall ecological footprint, enhance social cohesion, human health and well-being and contribute to bridging the gap between “farm and fork”. These benefits have been tested and monitored in Living Labs where a wide portfolio of different solutions have been implemented and scaled in order to accelerate their uptake and use in urban landscapes.

The study documents and analyses different scaling practices and activities of the co-created Living Labs – together with local actors within the “scaling community” in Andernach, Berlin, Havana, Oslo and Rotterdam. We follow a mixed method approach and analyse data by applying the different scaling pathways of scaling up, scaling deep, scaling wide, scaling across and scaling soft previously identified through a systematic literature review. Results are presented as ongoing scaling stories, experiences and challenges in the Living Labs. The study also highlights examples of scaling practices beyond the Living Labs and suggests strategic plans for future scaling. Scaling processes, strategies and approaches are critically reviewed and discussed. Observations are condensed into eleven recommendations for scaling edible nature-based solutions.

Read the new publication in full.


NetworkNature New Graphics Highlight the Positive Impacts of NBS

How are EU nature-based solutions projects improving health and wellbeing? Supporting social justice and social cohesion? And boosting climate resilience?

Nature-based solutions hub NetworkNature has carried out a scoping of current NBS projects and turned their positive impacts into beautiful visualisations!

Explore the full resource here.


Network Nature Visualisation Urban Ecosystems NBS

Rotterdam City Team Holds Workshop on Green Initiatives at the City Makers’ Congress

Nienke Bouwhuis and Philip Kuypers from Rotterdam’s network of green initiatives Groen010, took part in the City Makers’ congress in November together with members of the city administration. They held a workshop called “Green Connections”, where participants visualized all of the green spaces in the city and linked them up on a huge map of Rotterdam. By interpreting all those networks, they also discovered where missing links are and discussed how they could be closed up.

Members of Groen010 also got together to work on their communication strategy in November, meeting with a representative of London National Park City to discuss Groen010’s campaign to turn Rotterdam into a National Park City too. In December, the team also held another edition of their monthly “Green Cafe” events, where Rotterdamers are invited to join members of Groen010 to visit different green initiatives in the city.

Photos: Aad Hoogendoorn


Stadsmakerscongress 2022 Rotterdam Groen010
Stadsmakerscongress rotterdam groen010

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