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Southlands: A Vision for Agricultural Urbanism

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DESIGN BRIEF
Presented by: Southlands Community Planning Team
Delta BC, Canada. April 2008. 40 pages
A charrette will be led by Andrés Duany, a founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism and one of the premiere planners worldwide.

Agricultural Urbanism (AU) is an approach to integrating growth and development with preserving agricultural resources and enhancing elements of the food system. The cornerstone of AU is creating an urban environment that activates and sustains urban agriculture with important elements such as educational programs, small-scale processing opportunities and a farmers’ market or other local sales conduits. AU offers an alternative to the practice of separating places where people live and where agricultural activities occur. Central to the concept of AU is the idea of integration not separation, transitions not buffers.


Idea for the Southlands — a Food and Agriculture Precinct:

The SCPT has envisioned a unique physical form-maker that might flow from Agricultural Urbanism, where the urban area would intersect with the agricultural area through the creation of a ‘Food and Agriculture Precinct’. The precinct would be the nexus where agricultural activities could find economic and social realization within the community. The SCPT challenges the design team to include some or all of the following activities as a function of the precinct:

• A ‘Centre of Urban Agriculture’ education facility;
• Light processing facilities for value-added farm output;
• A farmers’ market;
• A culinary school;
• An urban commercial ‘high street’ driven by food sales and fresh food
restaurants together with more traditional neighbourhood stores. The
architectural vernacular could reinforce the agricultural theme of the project.

Who is involved in the Southlands Public Design Charrette?

The charrette will be led by Andrés Duany, a founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism and one of the premiere planners worldwide. During the opening presentation you will hear from representatives of the Southlands Community Planning Team before Mr. Duany delivers a public lecture on traditional neighbourhood design. Mr. Duany will lead a design team of over twenty town planners, architects, landscape architects, illustrators, agricultural experts and environmental specialists over the course of eight days.

Read the complete 40 page design brief here.

Southlands in Transition Homepage.

Southlands in the ALR, preserving agricultural land for today and tomorrow – Homepage.

2 comments

1 dave staniforth { 04.30.08 at 3:50 pm }

Hi. I’m the creator of the Southlands in the ALR website mentioned above.
I have a question.
Isn’t agricultural urbanism about clawing back land used for other purposes and converting that land to some sort of agricultural use?
The Southlands proposal is aiming to take farmland out of production and replace it with housing.
As far as I can tell, there is no environmental, smart growth or AU principle to support this.
What am I missing?

2 Lonnie { 05.02.08 at 5:15 am }

I look forward to reading an answer to Dave’s question. Outside of Syracuse, NY, we have a Duaney-inspired “community” that used up farmland and is completely disconnected not only from the city but even from the suburban village that it’s near. Sure, there are open front porches and sidewalks, but in most other important ways, it’s just like any other suburban sprawl. Anyone living there is now spending $30-$40 a week just to drive to work and back, not to mention all the driving needed to buy groceries, get to the farmer’s market, or get the kids to any activities. Let’s call this type of development what it is: unsustainable.