TiSD (Technology in Sustainable Development) backcasting project covering the development and implementation of a sustainable campus food supply. By Kim Dekker, Willemijn Elkhuizen, Merel Segers, Peter de Ruijter, Luis Carlos Ramirez
This research was conducted as part of the Technology in Sustainable Development curriculum. As part of an interdisciplinary group, consisting of two Architecture students, two Industrial Designers and an Industrial Ecologist we developed a vision for a sustainable food supply for the Delft campus.
Currently, food supply worldwide, and especially in developed countries is far from sustainable. Food is sourced worldwide, transported using fossil fuel based transportation. Food is extensively packaged for easy portion dispersion. Additionally, a lot of food is wasted during production and eating, due to ineffective storage methods, overproduction and general lack of awareness. This all creates a lot of waste, which is generally handled in bulk and burned in waste treatment plants.
These aspects are especially true for canteens, also for the canteens at the TU Delft campus. Here we find a lot of internationally sourced foods, single serve packages, a lot of food wasted and no waste separation. Additionally it seems not everybody is happy with the current food supply, including aspects like the assortment in the canteen and the price of the meals.
Our goal is to create the campus as a micro city, which is sustainable in itself, utilizing its direct surroundings. The research question we focused on was: “How can we create a sustainable food supply on the campus”? In order to answer this question an analysis was made of the current campus food system, and a vision was created on how to make the food system sustainable in the future.
The methodology used to reach our goal is backcasting. Backcasting is a method in which you formulate a future vision after analysis of the current situation. From this future vision, actions are identified tracing back to the current situation, solving all identified unsustainabilities. For this research we identified actions in the Long, Medium and Short term future.
Our food-ture vision for 2050 can be summarized as:
• Food grown in energy neutral facilities, locally sourced, seasonally diverse and dispensed, stored and preserved without packaging.
• Food is prepared with renewable energy, cutlery cleaned without water and waste is owned by TUD for recycling or re-use.
• Consumers are aware about the contribution they are making to a better food cycle, a value change has occurred regarding food and food choices. The source of the food is visible and the environmental impact is transparent to the consumer.