End-of-the-line urbanism: reprogramming the FEW-nexus of the city region for a post-carbon society

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Northern Ireland is at the end of resource flows which have a significant environmental impact and situate the region in a vulnerable, insecure position. The techno-socio challenge of moving towards a post-carbon culture takes place in a post-industrial, post-conflict context, posing difficulties and opportunities in equal measure. Through an analysis of the food-energy-water (FEW) print of the region and the process of actor network mapping, the paper examines how the FEW-nexus can be radically reprogrammed through speculative intervention. Stocks and flows of food and energy are hacked to enhance urban and environmental resilience in highly globalised systems and networks. A specific focus is placed on transitions to sustainable: (1) forms of food and animal feed production and consumption; and, (2) shared, distributed forms of private transportation based on renewables fuel sources. Current attitudes to food production rely heavily on livestock due to poor soil quality while residents consume greater quantities of meat compared to the rest of the United Kingdom, posing significant environmental and health issues. Similarly, individual transportation is the largest form of energy consumption in Northern Ireland, almost entirely made up of petroleum products. Energy intensive, carbon-reliant
flows of materials are reimagined to produce a nested, multi-scalar urbanism, imagining the new typologies of production, supply and generation. The paper proposes new paradigms for how regions precariously located at the end of resource flows, can pioneer alternative, cyclical forms of production and consumption, centred on and informed by place. The case study offers a framework for a highly contextual method of studying the FEW-print and multi-scalar design urbanism which can be applied elsewhere to produce healthy, vibrant and economically viable transitions to post-carbon societies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET 2019), 20-22 August 2019, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2020
Event18th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies : Sustainable Energy Towards the New Revolution - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 20 Aug 201922 Nov 2019


Conference18th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies
Abbreviated titleSET 2019
CityKuala Lumpur


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