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Institute of

AT Agricultural Technology



Lead Institute AT Institute of Agricultural Technology
Beteiligte Institute AT Agricultural Technology

© Thünen-Institut

"Rural Urban Nutrient Partnership (RUN)"" is an inter- and transdisciplinary research project in which the visions of a partnership between farmers and urban dwellers should be established tested and established.

Background and Objective

The project objective is to close nutrient and resource cycles between regional urban and rural spaces and makes a valuable contribution to increasing resilience and resource efficiency
of agricultural systems. The project will be carried out by an inter- and transdisciplinary consortium of from agricultural and engineering scientists, sociologists, system analysts, urban and rural planners landscape planners, engineers and municipal institutions.


In order to achieve the project objective, transferable and detailed information on technology solutions that have been tested for their economic sustainability. The intensive communication between the actors, who are alternately consumer or producer, as well as overcoming obstacles are particularly promoted by the social-scientific company. A high  degree of innovation and thus the need for research consists in the (further) development of technologies that convert nutrient-rich municipal secondary resources (waste and wastewater partial flows) into safe and effective design fertilizers. Therefore tests on different scales are necessary, which are finally carried out in an large-scale pilot plant (approx. 100 to 200 inhabitants(values)) presenting an urban suburb. That should demonstrate the feasibility in practice with the participation of all actors.
Furthermore, a physical space of experience will be demonstrated in the IBA's "Markthalle 2.0". The experience space forms all the building blocks of the nutrient community concept, from waste conversion to recycled fertilisers used for the  production of agricultural products. Through all these project components a real laboratory will ultimately be created in which the real-life testing of nutrient communities takes place. In addition, a methodical-systemic perspective supported by scenarios  modelling at various time- und spatial resolutions and  sustainability analyses, will be used in order to investigate the transferability of the approaches to larger scales in the future, including the necessary transition processes.

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Universität Stuttgart
    (Stuttgart, Deutschland)
  • Universität Kaiserslautern
    (Kaiserslautern, Deutschland)
  • Universität Hohenheim
    (Hohenheim, Deutschland)
  • Universität Heidelberg
    (Heidelberg, Deutschland)
  • iat Ingenieurberatung für Abwassertechnik GmbH
    (Stuttgart, Deutschland)
  • Björnsen Consulting Engineers GmbH
    (Leonberg, Deutschland)

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
    (national, öffentlich)


4.2019 - 8.2022

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 031B0732F
Funding program: BMBF - Agrarsysteme der Zukunft
Project status: ongoing

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