The CRUNCH Project: Sustaining Food, Water and Energy in an Age of Climate Change

The CRUNCH: Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices: Operationalising the Food-Water-Energy Nexus is a three-year JPI Urban Europe project that has recently been included in the Urban Transformations portfolio. Led by the University of Portsmouth, the research brings together some 18 research partners including academic institutions, local authorities and industry stakeholders. This blog, an edited version of a feature on the University of Portsmouth website, provides a short overview of the project. CRUNCH was recently featured in the Small Business Charter and more information about the project is available on the CRUNCH website.

CRUNCH (Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices: Operationalising the Food-Water-Energy Nexus) is a £1.6 million research project funded by Horizon 2020, Belmont Forum, ESRC and other funding bodies. University of Portsmouth is leading the project. The partners are five universities from Miami, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Uppsala and Taiwan. Crunch involves universities, local authorities and small business. As a result it’s aiming to have real stakeholder engagement and to leverage expertise from both academia and industry.

The participating cities are all very different, but all facing real risks from climate change. Each city will have an Urban Living Lab (ULL) where ideas can be tested. What CRUNCH is aiming to do is to look at ways in which food, water and energy are interrelated in these cities, and work to make the most of these connections.

In our partner city, Southend-on-Sea, there is a desire to generate more renewable energy while at the same time a risk of seasonal flooding. What the University of Portsmouth are looking to do is to work out how to gather useful data from Southend and find ways of harnessing water and generating energy.

Other key roles in the projects include Dr Julia Brown, senior lecturer in environmental geography (Department of Geography), and Professor Djamila Ouelhadj (School of Mathematics and Physics), both CoI’s, and of course, Claire Coulter, the CRUNCH Project Manager.

The video below features some content on the project: while it is mainly in Polish, it does include English interviews from Allessandro Melis (1 minute 50 seconds) and Claire Coulter (2 minutes 32 seconds). It explains their involvement in the project.