Bioeconomy for Urban Areas



18 December 2023

Redaction: Christelle Planche - PSM

Insect-based bioconversion newsletter N°6

This issue covers scientific and industrial news on insect-based bioconversion from October 1 to November 30, 2023.
This issue covers scientific and industrial news on insect-based bioconversion from December 15, 2022 to March 31, 2023. Among the many recent articles, we would like to highlight the BSFCON conference and the article by Kee et al. (2023). Kee et al. (2023) carried out a literature review on the concept of insect biorefineries, which consists in using insects as a tool to convert waste into energy and other beneficial products. The authors highlight the many biotechnological products derived from insect biorefineries, such as biofertilizers, animal feeds, edible foods, biopolymers, bioenzymes and biodiesel.
The management and reuse of urban wastewater must go beyond the treatment of water and recycling in an industrial context or use for irrigation on farms. If wastewater is to be incorporated into urban ecosystems, the entire small water cycle needs to be redesigned, from identifying all available resources in a territory to characterising all uses and their associated constraints to all the socio-technical systems that allow water to be treated, transported, stocked and (re)distributed.
It is also a matter of constantly thinking about “tomorrow’s waste”, that is, designing systems that take into account the way waste is likely to change in terms of quantity and composition, leading to new trends in consumption.

Managing the cities of tomorrow and their impacts

According to the UN, by 2050 almost seven out of ten people worldwide will be living in urban areas, especially in very large cities, compared to just over one in two today. This trend toward the urbanisation of today’s societies brings considerable challenges, such as fresh water supply, waste and pollutant management, urban sprawl, increasing pressure on agricultural land, and more traffic. Indeed, cities come with a whole set of problems.

The "Bioeconomy of Urban Areas" metaprogramme, known as BETTER, brings together researchers from different fields in order to overcome stumbling blocks to the bioeconomy transition of cities. In a context of socio-economic, organisational, structural and technological change, scientists are studying solutions that could help cities make better use of and recycle their mineral and organic waste, and to reduce their fossil fuel consumption.

The roll-out of bioeconomic and circular-economy solutions that guarantee a transition towards resilient territories is a major societal challenge today. It is also the very heart of the BETTER metaprogramme.