The aim of this work is to design a model of sustainable rural settlement to ensure food self-sufficiency. The strategic objective of this study is to verify how the development of rural settlements based on this model contributes to overall sustainability. The sustainability assessment is based on an ecological footprint indicator introduced by Rees (1992) and developed by Rees and Wackernagel (1994). The operational objective of this work is to develop an ecological footprint of autonomous food systems model that is able to determine the land area needed to ensure the food self-sufficiency of an Italian settlement while varying the number of components and the diet followed. The model is also intended to determine the food component of the ecological footprint indicator. Model development started with the identification of the average diet for a community, which was determined from organic farming criteria, crop layouts and livestock farming characteristics necessary to meet demand. The research demonstrated that by promoting food self-sufficient rural settlements, the food component of the ecological footprint indicator is lowered by 47.32% compared to the national average and by 8.11% compared to the world average. The development of this model has also highlighted how the ecological footprint indicator is not valid for assessing the autonomous sustainability of a community, leading to a systematic underestimation of humanity’s true impact.

Revisiting the food component of the ecological footprint indicator for autonomous rural settlement models in Central Italy

MENCONI, MARIA ELENA;STELLA, GIORDANO;GROHMANN, DAVID
2013

Abstract

The aim of this work is to design a model of sustainable rural settlement to ensure food self-sufficiency. The strategic objective of this study is to verify how the development of rural settlements based on this model contributes to overall sustainability. The sustainability assessment is based on an ecological footprint indicator introduced by Rees (1992) and developed by Rees and Wackernagel (1994). The operational objective of this work is to develop an ecological footprint of autonomous food systems model that is able to determine the land area needed to ensure the food self-sufficiency of an Italian settlement while varying the number of components and the diet followed. The model is also intended to determine the food component of the ecological footprint indicator. Model development started with the identification of the average diet for a community, which was determined from organic farming criteria, crop layouts and livestock farming characteristics necessary to meet demand. The research demonstrated that by promoting food self-sufficient rural settlements, the food component of the ecological footprint indicator is lowered by 47.32% compared to the national average and by 8.11% compared to the world average. The development of this model has also highlighted how the ecological footprint indicator is not valid for assessing the autonomous sustainability of a community, leading to a systematic underestimation of humanity’s true impact.
2013
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1149673
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