With every passing year, cities around the world are becoming more unhealthy and unlivable. Governments and public administrations are failing to understand that the urban ecosystem needs a natural environment, instead of concrete and artificial structures. Thankfully, there are some cities rethinking their urban planning activities with urban farming.
The concept of “urban farming” is an instrumental development in the field of urban planning. Architecture schools have started to introduce urban farming concepts so that students learn their importance, especially while planning city developments in the future.
So, let’s know more about urban farming and how it is important for the future of our cities.
What is Urban Farming?
In urban architecture, the practice of cultivating crops in multiple plots across the city is called urban farming. Also known as urban agriculture, urban farming has multiple stages of urban planning involved. First, you need to assess and acquire the land to use for farming. Usually, large open plots between two blocks or two skyscrapers can be used for urban farming.
Next, you need the equipment for the cultivation and processing of crops. The urban farming equipment and resources need to be maintained regularly for the farmlands to survive. Lastly, you need to create a chain of distributing the food produced from urban farming. The outcome of your urban farming activities needs to consumed by the city inhabitants themselves.
The best private colleges on urban architecture promote the concepts of urban farming in their curriculums. It is observed that urban farming can increase the sustainability of urban lands. It can retain their fertility despite the surrounding concrete environment. Urban farming can offer food security by increasing the gross agricultural output of a city or an urban area. In addition to this, urban farming benefits the animal life and other natural components of the city.
Two Iconic Urban Farms
There are two unique examples where urban farming has been manifested into real-life urban planning applications. New York’s Riverpark Farm and the Shanghai Greenland Center are the two great models of urban farming brought into existence.
#1 Riverpark Farms
In Midtown, NYC, the movement of urban farming has grown across unconventional spaces. The Riverpark Farms are a dense cover of crop cultivations around the Riverpark restaurant. These farms provide fresh agricultural produce to the restaurant.
Source: ORE Design
A unique architectural fact about the Riverpark farms is the usage of milk crates. These crops are not cultivated in planters, but in milk crates. The weight of the crates is low, which makes it easy for relocating the plantations in the future. The crates also allow the plantation density to become higher over time. The farms are designed with modular concepts, enabling the cultivators to rotate their positions based on the availability of the sun. There’s also a dining area integrated into the Riverpark Farms that allows guests to enjoy the meals among the fresh produce.
#2 Shanghai Greenland Center
The 20,000 square-feet garden complex allows the city life to meet nature seamlessly. It offers a valley to city dwellers, who are always attracted by the smart geometries of the roofs. The roof of the Shanghai Greenland Center is split into multiple sections, across changing scales, and into several elevations. The architectural functions of this urban farming space counteract to the heating effect of the Shanghai city.
Hence, urban planners can take a cue from these wonderful initiatives and strive to make the world a greener, more sustainable place to live in!