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LEA - autonomous farming in city

Award category
Solutions for the co-evolution of built environment and nature
You want to submit
NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS RISING STARS : concepts or ideas submitted by young talents (aged 30 or less)
Project title
LEA - autonomous farming in city
Full concept/idea title
Dynamic agriculture system for the cities with hydroponic modules
Lea is an autonomous and robotic growing system for fruits and vegetables that aims to integrate part of the agricultural production in the city to fight deforestation. As a matter of fact, 80% of forests are cut down to be converted into agricultural land. The higher goal is to reduce the destructive impact on the planet caused by excessive consumerism using a circular economy that is economically and environmentally sustainable.  
Where is your concept/idea being developed or intended to be implemented in the EU?
Piazza della Maddalena, 53
Please provide a summary of your concept/ idea
Lea is an autonomous and robotic agricultural service that can be used by citizens of the future. Lea uses renewable energy and environmentally sustainable techniques for conscious agricultural production without impacting the environment. Lea cultivates using vertical and precision agriculture in modules with aeroponic and hydroponic systems that reduce water consumption by 80% compared to current irrigation. Lea's modules move around the city, producing fruits and vegetables while making use of unused public spaces. In this way, it reduces the level of co2 in different areas of the city and citizens who subscribe to the system receive natural products. As a system that is present in the daily lives of citizens, Lea creates a new balanced relationship between people and nature and makes consumers aware of production and natural timing.
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of sustainability and how these would be met
The Lea project is economically supported thanks to the investors who want to support the project to introduce green in their cities, but mainly thanks to the subscriptions of the citizens. These citizens receive at home natural products grown in "urban greenhouses". In terms of space, it is a sustainable system because it uses self-driving modules that occupy unused spaces of the city or public squares. The system can move or reconfigure these modules according to the needs of the citizens and the city. In this way, the system makes agricultural production more sustainable by reducing the use of large areas of land (usually the cause of deforestation)and giving value to places that did not have it before. Moreover, the system produces the amount necessary for subscribers without generating waste. In fact, "urban greenhouses" use hydroponic and vertical growing systems to reduce water consumption and optimize space. At the energy level, the system is supported by the collection of solar energy, which is redistributed between the batteries of the different Lea's modules. All this is part of a circular economy that uses robotics to make cultivation autonomous and controlled. All this also aims to reduce the waste of fruits and vegetables from mass production.
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these would be met
The goal is to create "urban greenhouses" with an autonomous driving system and "domestic greenhouses" for the home to bring nature back into cities and people's lives. Lea's products are designed to provide various services to citizens and give people a new experience of growing and coexisting with plants. All these products have an adaptive and non-invasive design in harmony with the context. Lea's products are: Lea Growing - hydroponic urban greenhouses that are autonomous and have a robotic system for the production of fruits and vegetables. They autonomously produce the right amount of agricultural food for subscribers and occupy different locations in the city. Lea Time - small private green spaces in the city. They can be rented to experience relaxing moments in the midst of nature, even in extremely urbanized cities. Lea Home - domestic greenhouse for home production of fruits and vegetables. Lea Fly - drones for home delivery of fruits and vegetables. Lea Help - it is the support of the whole system and produces renewable energy that is fed into the batteries of all modules. Lea Green - it is a reconfigurable green space for the city. The final experience is to limit the purchase of agricultural products in the supermarket, but to receive them directly at home from the urban greenhouses of Lea. We imagine that large companies, but also restaurateurs can support this project by offering space for Lea's modules and in return receive seasonal fruits and vegetables at km0.
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of inclusion and how these would be been met
The goal is to increase the inclusion of nature within people's lives and make this coexistence balanced. Lea gives nature the possibility to become more fluid to live in harmony with citizens through an exchange of resources. We also aim to educate citizens about the natural rhythms of plants and their seasonal cycles. We want to make nature and man coexist within the same spaces to establish a new and more inclusive relationship.
Please explain the innovative character of your concept/ idea
The greatest innovation is mobile and decentralized hydroponic cultivation. In this way we do not need to occupy large acres of land and we do not steal land from forests for agricultural production. So we give plants the opportunity to move around the city in controlled greenhouses and with autonomous driving. This brings oxygen into the city and gives new value to places that are no longer in use. By using innovative technologies such as root control, hydroponic cultivation, antagonistic insects and robotic systems, the modules can grow plants on their own and produce the right amount of fruits and vegetables for the subscribers' needs. The innovation also lies in the scalability of the project, which can start from small neighborhoods with a few subscriber families and a few Lea Growing modules and then arrive in large cities. Moreover, with the services explained above, the project relates to the subscriber user, but also to the non-subscriber citizen who receives benefits such as more oxygen in the city, greener and reconfigurable public spaces.
Please detail the plans you have for the further development, promotion and/or implementation of your concept/idea, with a particular attention to the initiatives to be taken before May 2022
The project could start with an initial investment for the definition, prototyping and production of "domestic greenhouses" and their mobile app by 2022. Subsequently, we envision the possibility of investing the initial revenues in the development of Lea Growing (urban greenhouses) through the support of investors, companies and research institutes. Finally, by 2025, we envision deploying the first self-driving urban greenhouses with a common delivery system in cities to bring agricultural products to the home of subscribers. The next steps will be to study and build all other Lea products, starting with the solar energy collection system. It will be used to charge the batteries of the Lea products and make the system closed and self-sufficient by 2030. In all this, the support of research institutes in robotics will be fundamental to make urban greenhouses increasingly autonomous. We envision all of this evolving from a few neighborhoods in one city to a system within several different cities.
By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that the proposed concept/idea has not been proposed for the New European Bauhaus Rising Stars Awards more than once in the same category.


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