Traditionally Architects are the […], HPA Ltd 2014. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. There are, of course, some fundamentals for getting it right and some of the wisdom we have acquired over the years in designing manufacturing buildings is as follows. Urban agriculture, urban farming, or urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around urban areas. The landscape architect says that we need to reconnect with our food, beginning with the means of food production. Don’t hide away: Consumers are keen to know where their food comes from and how it arrives on their plate. Stephen Prassas, ASLA, a landscape architect in Peter Schaudt’s firm at the time the Gary Comer Youth Center rooftop garden in Chicago was designed and built, recently shared with me some of the small ways that this played out for them. Edible species tend to look shabby at certain times of year, but if framed by a well-designed bed, this is less of an issue. Otherwise the path surface slowly become degraded by all the bits of soil falling into the gravel. The production, packaging, and transportation of food are large contributors to our global carbon emissions. Ken Weikal told me how he specified hoses of a certain length for Lafayette Greens that when connected to any of the hose bibbs available in the garden were not long enough to reach across any of the primary pathways. Urban dwellers often aren’t knowledgeable about the natural cycles of plants in nature. capital, required for attaining physical efficiency in food production could be food insecure, i.e., resource poverty could lead to low productivity, food insufficiency, and lack of income to purchase the needed calories. By refocusing the lens of landscape architecture to see food production as one of many landscape functions—alongside stormwater management, microclimate moderation, habitat restoration and beautification—our cities can become even greener and more resilient. This is an issue which was predicted a long time ago in the 19 th century by Justus von Liebig who developed the chemical analysis of soil initially, who began to see what a danger it is going to be. Fax: 1-202-898-1185, Copyright 2010 – 2020 by Brian Barth, Affiliate ASLA, a writer and consultant with a background in urban planning, landscape design and sustainable agriculture. It’s what they do daily. The goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is all too often the face that we see of urban farms and community gardens, and an area that the professional designers have the power to improve. They learned how important it was that the gardener be instructed to put down a tarp whenever they were working in a particular bed. There are examples of urban growers grossing upwards of $100,000 annually per acre, but even so, urban agriculture is not economically viable through the sale of produce alone if land costs, good quality infrastructure and the soft costs involved in land development and design are included. A Chartered Architect with experience in the food manufacturing sector will be able to assess your existing facility and see whether it can be improved cost effectively, without the need for a brand new building. ( Log Out /  The message to urban farm managers is that good aesthetics sell—they help to sell the product, but just as importantly, they help to sell the concept to the public. The nature they are familiar with consists of ornamental plants chosen for their horticultural characteristics to thrive in that particular climate, which are on constant irrigation and fertilizers, and are designed to bloom at alternating times throughout the year so that the garden always looks colorful. We work with building owners, operators and developers to introduce appropriate models of food production into their buildings with a particular focus on the rooftop greenhouse model employing water-based growing techniques. There is nothing worse for the image of urban agriculture than weedy, ramshackle gardens decorated with random piles of mulch, crooked sticks lashed together, the orange twine from bales of straw serving as trellises and plastic pots stacked haphazardly in the corner. Speaking to a cross section of the client’s staff is also a good way of learning how the process works. 1-888-999-2752 (Toll Free) Food cultivated for consumption, for recreation, for exposition or research; Architecture for Food. At Lafayette Greens, Ken and Beth used a 5-foot tall black mesh fence that is very difficult to breach, yet feels light and unobtrusive and visually recedes into the foliage. “It is important to have an appreciation of just how hard it … By refocusing the lens of landscape architecture to see food production as one of many landscape functions—alongside stormwater management, microclimate moderation, habitat restoration and beautification—our cities can become even greener and more resilient.
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