Food-Energy-Water Systems

Food, energy, and water are three of the most fundamental resources that people rely upon for, not only their comfort, but for survival.  This is especially true of urban dwelling people.  Cities offer many opportunities for a reduced carbon footprint. However, a large proportion of the resources necessary for a city’s function require importation.  Once used, the waste derived from resource use is exported from the city.  Natural systems run on food (nutrient), energy, and water as well, but nature keeps imports and exports to a minimum by closing the loops on food, energy, and water cycles.  The BBISS is researching ways that the design, construction, and operation of urban infrastructure can function more like natural systems to save water and energy, cycle nutrients back into localized food production, reduce carbon emissions, and increase sustainability and resilience.