A circular view of fertilizer and food production is central to socio-ecological transformation. One important nutrient resource is human urine, which can be converted into a safe, pollution-free, and effective recycled fertilizer. In the “Urban Cycles” project, a recycled fertilizer made from artificial urine will be tested in community gardens in Berlin. The C.R.O.P® fertilizer (Combined Regenerative Organic Food Production) developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will be made available to the participating community gardens free of charge. The new recycled fertilizer comes from DLR research facilities that are currently still operated with artificial urine. The gardeners then conduct their own experiments with the C.R.O.P® fertilizer and document their results. In dialog sessions, they evaluate their observations together with researchers. The aim of the project is to interactively impart knowledge on sustainable fertilization to gardeners and to involve them in the scientific process and socio-political dialogue on recycled fertilizers in a participatory manner. Through open formats and the principle of “by gardeners for gardeners”, the jointly developed knowledge is to be made accessible to as many other interested parties as possible.
The “Urban Cycles” project team at the IGZ is a cooperation between the research group “Next-generation horticultural systems ” and the Science Management. The project is also supported by the DLR in Cologne.
The project is funded as part of the “Hochschulwettbewerb”, which is announced annually by Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) in cooperation with the Federal Association of University Communication and the German Rectors’ Conference, and is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the Science Year.