Students of the UAB, winners of the Urban Greenhouse Challenge

Guanyadors ICTA-UAB
Image: Guy Ackermans

The Team Bagua, consisting of five students of the ICTA-UAB Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability, is the proud winner of the Urban Greenhouse Challenge, an International competition organized by the Wageningen University & Research (The Netherlands) with the participation of 53 teams from 79 universities.


The SosteniPra group, led by Xavier Gabarrell and formed by researchers Perla Zambrano, Joan Muñoz, Alexandra Peña and Susana Toboso, has been assessing the Team Bagua for the last six months. The members of the Spanish team are Alejandro Rueda, Rachel Wilbertz, Olivia Manzart, Sofie De Brabander, Nicole Rodas and Ruijie Shi. The second position is for Team KAS and the 3rd place for Team Spirit.

In the Urban Greenhouse Challenge, 53 multidisciplinary teams from 79 universities in 29 countries were challenge to bring professional food production (back) into urban neighbourhoods integrating social, economic, environmental and technical aspects in one coherent concept. This edition invited students to design an iconic and circular urban greenhouse to be based in the city of Dongguan, which is part of the Greater Bay Area in China, one of the world’s major metropoles.

During the intensive ten months, they have received support of international experts, participated in various on-line events and worked hard on their design while withstanding the Covid-19 epidemic. After two selection rounds ten international teams made it to the Grand Finale that took place on 27 August 2020 on-line and at Wageningen Campus.

The proposal submitted by the Spanish team Bagua aspired to honour ancient Chinese philosophies while including modern innovation with their urban greenhouse design. Bagua refers to the identically named symbol used in Taoist philosophy. Consequently, the building was designed according to the Taoist philosophy, and includes and connects the different aspects of the Bagua. According to Taoist philosophy, in this world all things exist with their inseparable opposite. Therefore, the design of the building as well as its functions will aim to combine different opposites and try to enable an undisturbed flow between them. The concept is multi-functional, flexible and adaptive in order to meet changing community and crop production needs.

Bagua aims to meet the growing demands of locally produced food by producing nutritious food in a sustainable way. Beyond food production, the goal of Bagua is to build strong, connected and healthy communities. Bagua will strengthen and bring back Chinese traditional agriculture into the urban environment through connecting the local community to where their food comes from.

This information is related to the following SDG

  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Sustainable cities and communities

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