Research project


Core Objective

Assessing the self-sufficiency of natural resources at local scale as a driver for sustainability transition: the case of water-energy-food nexus

Human development has posed unprecedent pressures on overall natural systems due to extraction, conversion and inefficient use of key resources, as Water, Energy and Food.


Urbanization rates are increasing

Key assumption

Self-sufficiency has been adopted as a driver for sustainability

Support function

Cities provide support for majority human activity


Pressure to transform cities as beacons of sustainable development


Research gaps

Self-sufficiency analysis in cities on food and energy, have developed through a silo approach.

 Issues like the competitive use of available space in the city to provide energy and food is not prevented, nor the consumers profiles, are some examples hampering the full potential of cities.

Holistic approach

Population socio-economic profiles

Climate change impacts


Consumer behaviour

Integrated resources assessment


CitySelfy will focus on WEF resources use
within the city boundaries

Project core tool

CitySelfy will expand a peer-reviewed technology-based Energy system optimization tool: interlinkages with Water and Food resources, technologies and practices + social preferences and economic profiles of its inhabitants

Survey and workshops

Structured survey will portray this information, as well as their willingness to accept and pay consumer changes and new technologies and products (e.g. food from environment controlled urban farming).


WEF demand scenarios and local production potential. Several levels of self-sufficiency, and climate changes impacts projected for the region, will be tested, and its impact in city sustainability.


Case study

Cascais municipality

The municipality of Cascais will be used as a case study for the following reasons: heterogenous socio-economic characteristics, heterogenous physical infrastructure (e.g., different buildings typologies, land use, coastline), high potential for self-sufficient technologies deployment; region with expected sound climate impacts, already assessed. Cascais has strong commitments towards carbon neutrality by 2050, and strategies intending to help its community to improve competitiveness.






water imports


energy imports


Food imports

*Early and high uncertain estimates

Our Team

Meet Our Experts

Júlia Seixas
Mónica Truninger
Luís P. Dias
Luísa Schmidt
Patrícia Fortes
Rosário Oliveira
Bahar F.Beigi
Ana Margarida Vales
João Graça

With the support:

Financial support: Project PTDC/CTA-AMB/6629/2020