Urban Nexus // Urban Nexus Science for Future Cities: Focus on the Energy-Water-Food-X Nexus
By Joshua B. Sperling, Philip R. Berke. Interactive system modeling and participatory technologies are needed to support stakeholder engagement and two-way (and multi-directional) information flow, for exploring outcomes of alternative solutions for integrating W-E-F sectors. To support such important efforts, research is needed to fill critical gaps in data, identify tradeoffs, and develop synergistic solutions that measure sustainability co-benefits based on different levels of urban integration among W-E-F systems and services.
Rapid urban expansion of the world’s cities is placing unprecedented demands on the energy, water, food, and other (X) systems (e.g., mobility) that each offer multiple life-supporting services. Coordination that considers inter-sectoral connections among these urban systems and services remains nascent in practice, yet are critical to the future well-being, resource/operational efficiency, and resilience of urban areas. This paper therefore proposes an applied “urban nexus science” framework to identify integrated and synergistic pathways toward achieving urban sustainability.
The design, planning, and operation of urban W-E-F systems can benefit from integrated analyses to accelerate infrastructure, land use, and hazard mitigation planning and decision-making. New knowledge quantifying the key effects of W-E-F systems designed in isolation versus an increasingly integrated systems, especially when exposed to hazards, health risks, or extreme events, are a critical need.
Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports, Topical Collection on Nexus of Food, Water, Energy