Compressed Agriculture Initiative
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Increasingly within urban population growth there is a greater demand on the agricultural resources needed to keep these populations properly fed. As these stresses on the agricultural space and supply chain increase, they can lead to dangerous lapses in feeding growing urban populations. How can architecture respond to urban centers that have an ever increasing need for agricultural space and stabilize food supplies in those communities? This system is an agricultural typology with commercial and educational elements to facilitate the project requirements. This project begins to address the demand for a stable food supply while by bringing nutritious foods right into the hungry population’s very urban fabric and does so while maintaining a very tight footprint. Individuals and groups will work on their own properties and within the urban farm space to refine technologies and methods for improved harvest yields. Urban farm employees will also assist the community through hands on education, seminars, and resources to promote and educate the community on how to best grow food in areas lacking sufficient land for traditional methods. Under developed, vacated, and neglected lands that are almost completely abandoned in parts of the city will be cleaned, tested, analyzed and a phased plan of action will be created for each area of the newly recovered farm lands. There will be a main plot of land utilized by the main urban farm itself, and then smaller parcels of private or public lands will also be designated by their owners to be utilized for agricultural purposes. Compressed urban farming will not only provide food but a community connection to each other and the soil while improving the local air, and water quality. Justification: This system design is needed now more than ever with projected urban population growth each year, and ever decreasing available agricultural lands and increasing distances to those that remain. Depleted and missing farms leave larger and larger urban populations at the mercy of supply disruptions, but can be corrected through improved planning and initiatives such as mentioned in this plan. Currently many European, Asian, and Middle eastern nations with large or growing populations and lacking suitable arable lands to feed these populations, are purchasing land for farming, thousands of miles from where the food will be consumed. This urban farming system however maintains local growth for local use, decreasing labor, fuel, environmental and spatial impact.
Thesis (M.Arch.)--North Dakota State University, 2013.