Sustainability of City-Based Food Sharing Assessed by SHARECITY

Posted on: 26 May 2016

SHARECITY, a new research project based at Trinity College Dublin, is using an innovative and collaborative approach to assess the practice and sustainability potential of city-based food sharing economies.

Funded by the European Research Council, SHARECITY brings together an international team of researchers as well as an advisory panel of global experts committed to exploring novel pathways for more sustainable food futures.

Professor of Geography, Environment and Society at Trinity, and Principal Investigator of SHARECITY, Anna Davies, said: "More and more people are living in urban areas and this trend is set to continue. In order to meet the needs of urban dwellers now and in the future we must examine the potential of niche activities, such as ICT-enabled food sharing, to ensure our urban food systems are sustainable. SHARECITY is the first global research effort to identify, classify and evaluate the practice and potential of city-based food sharing."

Food sharing forms one strand of the increasingly internet-mediated ‘sharing’ or ‘collaborative economy’. SHARECITY, which runs until 2020, will firstly identify 100 global cities in which food sharing plays an active and transformative role in advancing urban sustainability through resource conservation, food waste reduction and the building of communities.

In-depth ethnographies will then be conducted in seven of these cities. By specifically looking at how ICT (Internet and Communications Technologies) is enabling these activities through mobile apps and social media (termed ‘ifood sharing’) the team will be addressing questions such as:

  • How does ifood-sharing differ from historical practices?
  • What does the global landscape of ifood-sharing look like today?
  • What role might ifood-sharing play in supporting any transformation towards a more sustainable society in an era of planetary urbanisation?

The SHARECITY launch event will offer an opportunity to meet and learn more about a variety of Dublin-based food sharing activities.

Dublin based community groups and sharing organisations WeShare Dublin, The Heritage Community Garden, The DCU Community Garden, Newmarket Kitchen and Dublin Community Growers will be presenting a snapshot of their activities.

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