Short food supply chains have been advocated as a means to reduce the environmental impact of the agro-food system. However, to improve the ecological performance of the agro-food system other flows (e.g. nutrients, water, and urban waste) need to be considered as well. In the current context these aspects are usually treated separately. This FP7 project treat them in an integrated manner.

The overall goal of SUPURBFOOD (2012-2015) is to improve the sustainability of agriculture and food delivery in city-regions in Europe as well as in the global South by developing together with SMEs innovative approaches to:

The project has also conducted a systematic evaluation of the agri-food dynamics and governance context in the seven case study city regions, with a focus on those three key themes. In doing so, it provides a critical assessment of policies at the EU-level related to food, rural development, multifunctional agriculture and sustainable land use.

Furthermore, to enrich the knowledge base for the design of the case studies in European city regions, the project has documented and analysed experiences from the South with recycling of nutrients, waste and water in urban and peri-urban agriculture, short chain delivery of food in urban and peri-urban areas, and multifunctional land use in urban and peri-urban areas. In order to enhance North-South, exchange and collaboration regarding the development of resilient urban food systems and the reuse of urban wastes and wastewater in multi-functional urban and peri-urban agriculture has been carried out.

Researchers from Baltic Studies Centre have participated in several workpackages of the study.

Greater Riga Region

The first study in the project conducted in Latvia analyses the Greater Riga Region and the examples of three project themes. Report can be downloaded here: pdf (2142 kb)

Peri-urban multi-functionality

For decades food has hardly been part of the urban public domain. Agriculture and food production belonged to the rural areas. However, it is the city where the demand for food, the challenges for distribution and waste streams are the greatest. This report analyses how multifunctionality can ensure that initiatives are able to deal with food related issues in urban context while also solving variety of other urban challenges. Report can be downloaded here: pdf (2022 kb)


Recomendations for practitioners and policy makers have been developed. Practitioners brief and policy brief can be downloaded here: pdf (512 kb) pdf (415 kb)

Other publications

During the project Spanish Journal of Rural Development published a special issue on urban green infrastructure where many of the project findings have been published. The special issue can be found here: Spanish Journal of Rural Development. Within the issue there is also an article by Grivins & Tisenkopfs "New urban initiatives: A step towards a recognition of diversity" representing Latvia's case. Full article can be downloaded here: New urban initiatives.

For more information about the project visit project's website: