OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Urbanonics

Providing healthy vegetables to consumers while significantly reducing conventional agricultures environmental harmful impact.

Photo of Vatsal Pathak
2 0

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

MIT Institute of Design

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Other

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Not Applicable

Website of Legally Registered Entity

Not Applicable

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Just beginning now

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Pune

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

India

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Pune, a city in Maharastra state, India, covers a total area of 331.3 km².

What country is your selected Place located in?

India

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I came to Pune to learn the traits of Innovation at MIT Institute of design. Previously, I was located at Bengaluru, working as UI/UX designer in IT Industry. I always wanted to move to Pune even when I was working because of the all year round moderate climate and less traffic congestion in the city. 

Due to my personal inclination towards startup and having a family background in Agriculture, I started digging up around agriculture on the outskirts and inside Pune. Currently I'm  doing semi-structure interview, contextual inquiry and observational study. 

It's my pleasure and honour to meet a lot of brilliant people working in this city and I'm hoping to gain more on it.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Pune is growing as an IT Industry Hub. People from all around India is moving to this city due to it's moderate climate all year long. Being in close proximity from Mumbai, many projects are given to this city which makes it major educational and IT Hub in India. Currently the city have lesser traffic than other cities but lack of sufficient public transport is an issue to tackle.

Food in Pune is a mix of North Indian food (Rice, Pulses,Vegetables, poha) and South Indian food (idli, dosa, sambhar). Pav in famous foods like Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Pav Bhaji is inspired by bread brought to Goa by Portuguese which spread in all Maharastra. Bhel, Zumka Bhakar, Modak are local delicacies to have. Cumulatively, food in Pune is inspired by a lot of nearby regions and foreign culture.

Marathi is native and mostly spoken language here. People here are mix from various demographics. 

Ganesh Chaturthi is most famous festival to be celebrated here.

Pune has grown thrice in its urban area and the villages nearby has changed into semi-urban region.

Agriculture is booming in it's 200km radius range due to high demand in vegetables in the city. A lot of people are trying soilless farming to capture the demand of quality vegetables in the city. Organic vegetables gets double rate than vegetables grown with the help of pesticides. Outside city, Sugarcane is dependable crop for the farmers. 

Due to IT Hub, Pune is costly city to live in forcing local people to work extra hard to make a good living. Lower middle class and lower class income group mostly gets into debt due to medical reasons one way or the other. On the other hand, there is huge number of people who earn good income.

Taste of food has gone down due to supply of chemical coated vegetable when you talk to senior citizens. Senior citizens claim that if you eat extra of food today, there is good amount of you getting sick. Now a days, a lot of people from younger generation here gets kidney stone.

Located in Western Ghat, geographically, there is a-lot of hilly tourist attraction all around the city. 

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

331

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

7400000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Environment - "Waste is something which doesn't have an economical value", this product, URBANONICS, in 2025 will benefit in protecting environment by supplying vegetable grown not on soil. For building this product, effort will be made to use waste as the building material to promote circular economy. Currently, 2020, all the vegetable that is consumed and wasted is grown through conservative farming technique which puts environment in a spot.

Diets - In 2025, the product will grow customised vegetable according to geographical region, personal preference and nutritional balance. So the consumer will live more nutritional life. Also this product will use less water and energy compared to conservative form of agriculture. Currently in 2020, India is one the most malnourished country.

Economics - In 2020, getting chemically grown vegetable is available at fairly cheaper rate. A lot of startups are trying to change this system but till 2025, chances are low until a product actually provides value that consumer jump upon.

Culture - There won't be much difference between 2020 and 2025 regarding food except in higher income class which is already trying to switch to healthier living.

Technology - Technology to make this system is available in 2020. In 2025, it will be more refined and will contribute towards circular economy.

Policy - Policy toward this product are there but its a tumbling block because to make this product commercially sellable, it has to go through a lot of strict policies.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

URBANONICS will benefit in protecting environment by supplying vegetable grown not on soil. For building this product, effort will be made to use waste as the building material to promote circular economy.

The product will grow customised vegetable according to geographical region, personal preference and nutritional balance. So the consumer will live more nutritional life.

We are trying to include the experience of farming in our product so that the consumer will love it and accept it at larger scare. Going to use Design Thinking while doing it.

Technology is not a challenge on a broader level. Applying it according to the design requirement will be a challenge and will be dealt when it appears.

Have to be more Agile during development to go through the policy faster.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

In future, for the sake of planet, we as humans will try to move towards circular economy. It is very necessary for us to achieve the idea of circular economy from Macro to micro level. URABANONICS will work in the segment of micro level circular economics. There will be cut in supply chain of vegetable from farm to land because vegetables will be grown inside. People will have more satisfaction watching the plants grow while the come back home after work. It will help them relax while constantly providing them tasty and healthy veggies.

Research will also be done considering future of work and its implication on urbanonics.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Environment- Use of less water and energy during production of vegetables. 

Diets- Fulfilling nutritional value of consumer by cultivation of balanced variety of vegetable with the help of Artificial Intelligence.

Economics- The product will be made with materials having negligible economic value to reduce cost. Circulation of seed try for refill of the product will provide benefit to the company.

Culture- It can be easily adopted by consumer considering the health value it is providing while being hassle free.

Technology- Hydroponics, aeroponics, IOT, Artificial Intelligence.

Policy- Policies are already in place but the process of certification/ getting clearance is time consuming

- Most of the citizens are consuming chemically grown food because of unavailability of good and economic food sources. This product will help and also will easily be adopted in societies with migrant workers.

- The size of the system should be made such that it can be easily adjusted at home. It must be responsive to the consumer food requirement. Also it should be tough so that it can be moved places. Should have good resell value. Should be affordable.

Systems Focused Approach- It is completely new way of personal urban farming which can be made into a new system itself.

Transformative Potential- Ground research is in progress and tests are being designed to see the adoption potential. When adopted, it will transform the life of consumer in terms of nutritional health and mental satisfaction.

Community Rooted- Target audience is middle higher economy class and this product might even cater to this section world wide. How much this product reflect communities and in which way it will do is unclear at this moment.

Inspirational- It will inspire a new generation of agriculture in coming future with the way of its approach.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email
View more

Attachments (2)

Group 70.jpg

Persona of people around agriculture.

IMG_20191114_192804.jpg

Journey map of vegetables, especially tomato. Done while doing research.

2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Thu Nguyen
Team

Hi Vatsal Pathak 

Welcome to the Food Vision Prize community!

For the last hours before the deadline, make sure you have reviewed your final submission through the Pocket Guide to support you through the final hours of wrapping up your submission. This will give you the most important bullet points to keep in mind to successfully submit your Vision.
Here is the link to the pocket guide: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o8WGMus6-V8GywWdlNwmCpk7I1fMVzcQ/view

Look forward to seeing your submission finalised by 31st January, 5:00 pm EST :)

View all comments