Urban Agriculture Grows in the City
Rooftop gardens have become a big topic in architecture because they provide large open spaces with great opportunities for growing food. Examining the different ways that food production can be incorporated into the urban environment is the topic of this interesting exhibition, London Yields, at the Building Centre in London.
It starts with a nice example in the adjacent cafe: a hydroponic curtain with 8 planting trays hung on a cable and connected to a water supply. The vegetables grown in the window will be used in the cafe.
Most of the projects are theoretical, designed at art school or architectural classes or have been carried out on a small scale. Farmacy (pictured) is a proposal for a farm that grows and sells medicinal herbs along the Regent's Canal in London. Visitors walking by can smell them growing or buy from the pharmacies.
Farmadelphia, developed by two architects, proposed to take over abandoned buildings and vacant lots in downtown Philadelphia and turn decrepit buildings into farm structures.
Capital Growth, a project in London, will create 2,012 new food growing spaces by the time of the Olympics by establishing gardens on top of large commercial and public buildings across London.
Croydon, a borough of London has created a crop of green roofs on top of a parking lot, with the support of the Council.
In Havana Cuba, 75% of the population lives in cities, with a quarter of the people in Havana. Many grow vegetables in their front and back yards. Today Havana is a world leader in urban agriculture with more than 50% of fresh produce grown within the city limits.
The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme provides a piece of free fruit or vegetable to every child between four and six in many schools. High-rise Learning is a proposal looking to expand on this by providing growing space for children to learn how to grow their own food.