Carrot City: Urban Agriculture Exhibition in Toronto


Pig City, MVRDV- each tower can feed 500,000 people

Carrot City
is a fabulous display of the possibilities of urban agriculture, both vertical and horizontal, in an exhibition at Toronto's Design Exchange that shows "a mix of realized projects and speculative design proposals that illustrate the potential for future design that focuses on food issues." It was put together by Mark Gorgolewski and June Komisar of Ryerson University's Department of Architectural Science and Dr. Joe Nasr of the Centre for Food Security at Ryerson. They were kind enough to provide us with some selections and information from the show.
Ravine City by Chris Hardwicke of Sweeny Sterling Finlayson &Co; Architects

Proposals by Chris Hardwicke for Ravine City and Farm City integrate visionary ideas for an urban ecosystem of collective housing that restores and enhances the ravine system of Toronto with a new kind of architecture that would enable the city to feed itself. The Toronto Ravine System is the defining natural feature of the city housing diverse ecosystems and running like fingers through the city. Ravine City creates housing development that runs along the top edge of the existing Toronto ravines, creating artificial ravines by connecting the terraced roof levels of the housing to create a continuous connected ecosystem. The artificial ravines function much like the natural ravines - controlling water flow and regeneration as well as cleaning the air, creating habitat and biomass. This new topographic infrastructure is connected to the natural ravine system and provides public open space. Farm City extends this concept to create agricultural areas integrated into new housing towers. By putting housing and farms in the same building, Farm City creates symbiotic relationships between energy, water and waste. Heat generated from the greenhouses is used to heat the housing units. Biomass from the greenhouses is used for energy. Solar energy is generated from the large glazed surface. Grey-water and compost generated from the housing is used in the greenhouses.

(Chris Hardwicke is known to TreeHugger readers for Velo-City: Cycle Tracks Will Abound in Utopia)



Niagara Neighbourhood Community Food Centre

Jordan Edmonds' project for the Niagara Neighbourhood Community Food Centre not only acts as a transitional bridge between housing and park space but also features reused existing structures and includes a farmers' market, community gathering spaces, bicycle paths, greenhouse structures for food production, and a community garden. His design is anchored in the history of the site, which was once a neighbourhood of icehouses and slaughterhouses and had a river running by (now buried). The project is a prototype for future urban landscapes that would be focused on creating a sense of community around the need for food production. It aims to enable the community through provision of growing spaces, both internal and external, preparation spaces, storage, sales space, all enabling the community to participate and be educated in the food supply process.


Urban Agriculture Hub: Designer - Andy Guiry

Raised highways are often condemned as urban blights that lead to localized social and economic poverty. This project supposes that this need not be the case, and that the highway can be seen as a community asset by generating functional and symbolic relationships between the highway and the surrounding landscapes. The aim of this project is to knit social, economic and ecological processes together with essential urban infrastructure to design new ways of generating potential for wasted urban space around the production of food.

The project features greenhouse spaces below the raised section of the highway, utilizing the side facing south to capture sunlight and the heavyweight structure of the highway for thermal mass to regulate temperature inside the building (Figure 1). Other features of the project include the remediation and reuse of wasteland adjacent to the highway for additional community based productive land, and the integration of educational facilities and a commercial space that sells garden supplies in addition to food and plants produced in the large greenhouse. Ecological processes such as the flooding of the Don River at the east of the site, and seasonal solar and temperature variations are incorporated into the functionality of the greenhouses, building, and productive landscape. Adding to the sustainable agenda for this project, mini turbines were conceived for the median strip along the highway to generate electrical energy for the building from the wind created by passing cars. The building was also conceived around reused components and recycled materials available from nearby wherever possible. Similar concepts have the potential to be implemented below many raised highway structures with unused, or underused land below.

Next: Stephen Teeple

Tags: Cities | Toronto

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