Sunday, March 2, 2008

Urban Ag: Mass Planting

A February post on Urban Agriculture prompted some great comments and unlocked a few resources previously unknown to me. One included the Urban Farm mapping project Dott07. As posted by David Barrie, the project is "...a map of an 'edible' town in the North of England."

:: image via David Barrie

Via David Barrie: "The map proposes a landscape plan for Middlesbrough that integrates productive, urban agricultural landscape in to the future strategic planning of the town. The spatial vision is built on where local people grew food as part of an urban agriculture project that I led there."

This reminds me of a former project of mine and still thriving phenomenon of green maps which have a strong urban agriculture component. There are some localized techniques, as well as new business models - which have significant ramifications on urban form, ala Farmadelphia.

In a true example of Synchronicity, this post and my own urban ag post happening almost simultaneously - each picking up some loose edges the other missed. Together, it's a good survey of the urban ag terrain. One idea that was presented was more resources on roof-farming, via BLDGBLOG. Whoa!

:: images via BLDGBLOG

Via BLDGBLOG, "Swiss Cheese City... proposes that "vacancy in cities" is really "a starting point for a new urban form." Accordingly, the project hopes to "generate new possibilities from holes in the built fabric," such as "Special Cultivation Zones (SCZs)."Special Cultivation Zones are an urban land-bank, defined by "temporary boundaries within which land can’t be bought or sold, and emerging skills, social networks and locally-grown produce are cultivated in the ‘vacant’ city fabric."

Another, much more elegant designs (than the Sin-City or Portland versions) of high-rise agriculture from London with a similar name: 'The Vertical Farm Project' offers some sleek building forms that are reminiscent of the Knafo Kilmor building.

:: images via The Vertical Farm Project

In this journey, I also stumbled on Pruned's former use of the term 'Arbortecture' via Flickr regarding 'plants growing out of buildings'. This is a powerful precedent, albeit focussed more on the somewhat accidental - to my own vocabulary addition of Vegitecture... very, very cool - and I will post some Arbortecture favs soon.

:: Arbortecture - via Flickr, Keaggy

Also a recent occurence, I did find one additional reference to Vegitecture, in an essay by Michael Sorkin from 1979, in an issue of WET, the Magazine of 'Gourmet Bathing'. ? Anyone have a clue where to get a copy of that? This makes sense, as Michael Sorkin Studio and spin-off Terreform have strong, er, roots - in Vegetated Architecture.


  1. I have a copy of that WET magazine if you'd like me to scan it in for you?

  2. That would be great... Thanks!


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