Picture of vegetables in bowls

Sustainable Urban Food (SUrF) Actions for environment, health, equity & resilience at the FEW Nexus: Linking distributed agriculture, new technologies & behavioral nudges



  • Lead PI: Anu Ramaswami (Princeton University)

  • Co-PIs: Jason Ren (Princeton University), Hikaru Peterson (University of Minnesota), Tracy Twine (University of Minnesota), Nic Jelinski (University of Minnesota), Saba Siddiki (Syracuse University)

  • Industry and Policy Partners: Health Partners, City of Minneapolis, ICLEI, UN Environment

  • Students and Post-docs: Scarlett Blaeser (University of Minnesota), Kirti Das (Princeton University), Brandon DeBruhl (Syracuse University), Masoumeh Heshmatpour (University of Minnesota), Aaron Leininger (Princeton University)

  • Researchers and Administrative Staff: Graham Ambrose (Princeton University), Dana Boyer (Princeton University), Emily Eckart (Princeton University), Kat LaBine (University of Minnesota), Stefan Liess (University of Minnesota)

Project Overview

This project seeks to develop an interdisciplinary convergence science of Sustainable Urban Food (SUrF) systems to advance wellbeing, health, environment, resilience & equity (WHERe) outcomes at the urban food-energy-water (FEW) nexus, using a trans-boundary coupled social-biophysical systems framework. Specifically, we will integrate different strategies to advance WHERe outcomes in urban food systems including spatial design of distributed urban agriculture, food waste valorization, behavioral nudging for sustainable diet change, and city organizational capacity to implement these actions in city food action plans.


The project is split into five themes:


  1. Distributed Urban Agriculture and Spatial Distribution of WHERe outcomes
  2. New Fit-for-Purpose Food Waste Valorization Technologies for FEW benefits
  3. Behavioral Nudges for Food Waste Separation & Diet Change
  4. Coupled Biophysical-Social Scenario Modeling for Convergence
  5. Evaluating Co-learning & Convergence Science with Cities