Creating Urban Agricultural Systems: An Integrated Approach to Design
Urban agriculture is an interdisciplinary topic par excellence, and designing with urban agriculture offers the opportunity for interdisciplinary work between architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. It challenges architects and allied practitioners to develop new ways to approach sustainability, community integration, and visions for urban futures. Urban agriculture also affords the fascination of working with living, tactile elements, environmental systems, and the local climate. It reconnects us with nature and the sources of our food.
Luscious, green lettuce heads moving through a vertical greenhouse in front of a corporate, high-rise office turns the building skin into a productive system. Tasty heirloom tomatoes harvested on the rooftop of a local restaurant minimize the distance from field to fork. Productive vegetable gardens on warehouse roofs generate opulent green roofscapes and improve the urban microclimate of previously barren neighborhoods.
While these ideas are compelling, they pose many questions about the construction and operation of urban agriculture. These questions remain largely unanswered; it is difficult to find sources that comprehensively record, investigate, and explain the systems at play. The research team collected first-hand data from this rapidly evolving field and connects technical instruction with design inspiration. It juxtaposes scientific information - for example, about biogeochemical cycles and plant physiology - with an analysis of existing building systems, new growing technologies, techniques for integrating into urban infrastructure, and different design approaches.
Host: Georg Staaks