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CE-Food Planner

A Regional Planning Support System for a Circular Equitable FoodSystem in Eindhoven Metropolitan Region

Theme Urban-Rural Circularity / Call i4CS Urban-Rural Circularity March 2023

Food systems are inherently complex and today they face unprecedented challenges driven by financial, climatic, and pandemic-related disruptions. Food systems should be planned to minimize their production and consumption gap, reduce and recycle their food waste and shorten their supply chains. Moreover, they should benefit all, and in particular the most vulnerable groups. In other words, food systems need to be circular and equitable. However, the urban-rural divide and the misalignment of their various stakeholders, and the absence of spatially explicit data / decision-making mechanism at the regional scale make this challenging.

This project aims to address these challenges and support the planning of a circular and equitable food system by adopting a regional perspective. It focuses on the Metropolitan Region of Eindhoven (MRE) where food production is largely centered around intensive, large-scale livestock, causing ecological imbalances. Furthermore, the region anticipates a shift in dietary preferences towards plant-based protein sources, which will have a substantial impact on the local food system, necessitating diversification.

Project Aim

The overarching goal of this project is to help plan a regional food system that is equitable and circular, and has spatially explicit targets. We believe that achieving this goal necessitates a socio-technical approach to develop a digitally-enabled, collaborative, knowledge- and location-based planning support system (PSS). Such a PSS can assists planners in various planning-related activities during the policy cycle such as agenda setting and impact assessment.

Circular Equitable Food Planner

At the core of the project is a framework for a Circular Equitable Food Planner (CE-Food Planner), a PSS tailored to the specific needs of the MRE. To create this framework, we use a two-pronged approach. On the one hand we review the state-of-the-art literature on PSS for food planning to see to what extent it addresses the issues of circularity, equity and spatial explicitness at the regional level. On the other hand, we conduct semi-structured interviews with planners in the region to identify their needs and barriers for food planning and the existing issues that CE Food planner can help address.

Moreover, the project’s framework is complemented by a prototype mockup for an open-source web-based interactive dashboard, demonstrating how it can be practically employed. While the project is focused on food systems in the MRE, the approach can be expanded and adapted to encompass other domains such as water, energy, and transportation and applied to other regions beyond the MRE, such as the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region.

Research Team

  • Dena Kasraian – TU/e, Built Environment
  • Shervin Azadi – TU/e, Built Environment
  • Theo Arentze – TU/e, Built Environment
  • Pieter van Wesemael – TU/e, Built Environment
  • Sol Maria Halleck Vega – WUR, Social Sciences
  • Eveline van Leeuwen – WUR, Social Sciences
  • Laura Piscicelli – UU, Geosciences
Image by Freepik


Dena Kasraian