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Closing ‘waste’ cycles, shortening of food chains between consumers and producers, and the multifunctional use of urban and peri-urban land have been identified as having many potential synergies, with the result that a range of public and private sector initiatives have been instigated in pursuit of these aims. Therefore, it is needed to develop an appropriate framework through which multiple meanings, priorities and dynamics that drive those initiatives can be identified. This will allow to undertake an analysis of agri-food dynamics and policies in the seven case study city regions.

This theme generates relevant insights in, and explores potential solutions for closing energy, nutrient, water and solid matter loops in UPA, with an aim to make UPA more relevant, more sustainable and more economically viable for SMEs in the respective city regions (and perhaps worldwide). The knowledge produced is not just technical, but it is embedded in the wider social and economic context, hence involves perceptual and behavioural aspects, as well as economic and ecological aspects. It is therefore developed in a complex, interactive process of co-production with a range of stakeholders involved.
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