The “Green Obsession” campaign launched by Stefano Boeri Architetti has been declared the winner of the SDG Action Awards, the most important recognition of projects that support the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. As part of the SDG Action Campaign, the United Nations set out to reward initiatives that “mobilize, inspire and connect communities in order to promote positive change.” The winning initiative aims to help improve the relationship between nature and design by implementing the principles of urban forestation. Green Obsession represents a series of conferences, public programs and a book, “Green Obsession: Trees Towards Cities, Humans Towards Forests”, published in 2021 and supported by the Graham Foundation.
Urban Agriculture: The Latest Architecture and News
When you come to think of it, most of the food on your plate has a history behind it - a long journey that we are unable to describe. In her book Food Routes: Growing Bananas in Iceland and Other Tales from the Logistics of Eating (2019), Robyn Shotwell Metcalfe refers to the paradox of fish being caught in New England, exported to Japan, and then shipped back as sushi, revealing a large and complex network that nobody can see when they buy takeout Japanese food at the local grocery store.
As populations continue to migrate from rural to urban areas, space is at a premium. Many settlements are becoming ever-more congested – with adequate, affordable housing in short supply and transport systems struggling to serve their respective residents. But as much the conversation about urbanization is about people, it is sometimes also about the animals that come with those people – urban livestock that play a key role at providing sustenance on an individual level, in addition to becoming an avenue for communal trade.
URB to develop the world's largest agritourism destination in Dubai, providing food security and to foster sustainability of the local communities, heritage, and cultural landscapes. In line with the city's ambition of making its rural areas restorative land facilities, "Agri Hub" targets to create 10,000 new jobs across various sectors, including a new agricultural research institute and a public farm for educational and retail purposes.
In our current context of ecological crisis, global warming, biodiversity loss, human population growth, and urban sprawl, we need to rethink the way we build and live in our city. We have observed the consequence of uncontrolled urban planning and construction driven only by a capitalist and productivist vision of the city, packing as many humans as possible in the cheapest constructions available, without consideration for the impact on our planet, our fellow animals & plants inhabitants, and our own wellbeing. The concrete jungles we have been building for the past century have proven to be disrupting our climate (Global Warming, Local heat island effect), our ecosystems (loss of biodiversity, and recess of animals & plants population), and our economy (the food and product industry have been displaced far away, replaced by the only service industry, and the generation of the huge amount of waste in the city).
In an age of unprecedented globalization, our food supply chains — the institutions and mechanisms involved in food production and distribution — have become longer. So much so that they are hardly perceived as chains or systems. They have been integrated into our lives, and into our cities, and transformed our relationships with food. And yet, those very long food supply chains are implicated in some of our most pressing global problems, from food security and waste to biodiversity and climate change. These food supply chains have come to their current state, their current length, over decades, or centuries perhaps, through all sorts of political, social, cultural, and economic processes, and carry with them a range of burdens: vague producer-consumer relationships, and a host of negative environmental externalities, among many others.
With global population on the rise, natural resources used to produce food are becoming increasingly threatened by climate change, and urban sprawls are continuing to out-compete farmland, with more creative solutions to growing, distributing, and consuming food urgently needed. One crucial group we’ll have to rely on to build a more food-secure future? Architects and urban designers.
Design and the City is a podcast by reSITE, raising questions and proposing solutions for the city of the future. In the second episode, Chris Precht from Studio Precht talks about being part of a new generation of architects, concerned with the environment, climate change, and sustainability, rather than with theories or concepts.
Prague's CAMP explores the Synergies of Food and Urbanism
A dedicated FoodCAMP event offers free talks, debates and screenings
Can food form a better city - and vice versa? Prague's CAMP (Centre for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning) will search for the answers to this question during its FoodCAMP programme from December 2 to 6. Every evening of the week will explore a different layer of food - urban planning dynamics covering topics like the sustainable relationship between the city and countryside, urban gardening, restaurant design and street food. The programme includes movie screenings, talks, debates with foreign speakers like Carolyn Steel, author
It is, once again, the time of year where we look towards the future to define the goals and approaches that we will take for our careers throughout the upcoming year. To help the millions of architects who visit ArchDaily every day from all over the world, we compiled a list of the most popular ideas of 2018, which will continue to be developed and consolidated throughout 2019.
Over 130 million users discovered new references, materials, and tools in 2018 alone, infusing their practice of architecture with the means to improve the quality of life for our cities and built spaces. As users demonstrated certain affinities and/or demonstrated greater interest in particular topics, these emerged as trends.
In a design proposal for Soprema’s new company headquarters in Strasbourg, France, Vincent Callebaut Architectures envisions an 8,225 square-meter ecological utopia. The building, called Semaphore, is described in the program as a “green flex office for nomad co-workers” and is dedicated to urban agriculture and employee well-being.
An eco-futuristic building, Semaphore is inspired by biomimicry and intended as a poetic landmark, as well as aiming to serve as a showcase for Soprema’s entire range of insulation, waterproofing, and greening products. The design is an ecological prototype of the green city of the future, working to achieve a symbiosis between humans and nature.
Dutch Firms Team RAU, SeARCH, and karres +brands have been named as one of the winners of the Inventons la Metropole de Grand Paris, the largest European competition for city planning, architecture and public space. Their project, Triango, reinvents Paris’ Triangle de Gonesse into a dynamic and lively business park which promotes sustainability in every sense of the word.
Australian ecologists, David Holmgren and Bill Mollison, first coined the term permaculture in 1978, encompassing holistic methods for planning, updating and maintaining environmentally sustainable, socially just and financially viable systems. For Mollison, "Permaculture is the philosophy of working with and not against nature, after a long and thoughtful observation." In this sense, herbal spirals are an excellent exercise to begin to understand some of the concepts of this culture, as it brings together various natural functions in a single element, making it more productive and healthy.
Agroecologist Amlankusum, together with Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architectures, has created Hyperions, a vertical, energy positive eco-neighborhood proposed for Jaypee Green Sports City in the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) in India. Aiming to “reconcile urban renaturation and small-scale farming with environment protection and biodiversity,” the project combines low-tech and high-tech elements with the “objective of energy decentralization and food deindustrialization.”
The following is an excerpt from Carey Clouse's Farming Cuba: Urban Agriculture from the Ground Up, which explores Cuba's impromptu agricultural development after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the challenges that development poses for modern day architects and urban planners.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Cuba found itself solely responsible for feeding a nation that had grown dependent on imports and trade subsidies. With fuel, fertilizers, and pesticides disappearing overnight, citizens began growing their own organic produce anywhere they could find space, on rooftops, balconies, vacant lots, and even school playgrounds. By 1998 there were more than 8,000 urban farms in Havana producing nearly half of the country's vegetables. What began as a grassroots initiative had, in less than a decade, grown into the largest sustainable agriculture initiative ever undertaken, making Cuba the world leader in urban farming. Featuring a wealth of rarely seen material and intimate portraits of the environment, Farming Cuba details the innovative design strategies and explores the social, political, and environmental factors that helped shape this pioneering urban farming program.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Growing Power, a Chicago-based urban agriculture organization, announced recently the formation of Farmers for Chicago, a program that will transform vacant south-side Chicago lots into productive urban farms. The program will make available up to five acres of city-owned vacant lots for urban farming activity and "help expand the supply chain for local neighborhood-level food production and wholesale," "improve community access to healthy food, help participants to supplement their incomes, and to foster workforce training."
Read more about Farmers for Chicago after the break.