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Category — Design

ARUP’s ‘Cities Alive’ – 3.1 Integrating Urban Food

Eco-city, China by Arup.

Report envisages cities of the future as integrated networks of intelligent green spaces, designed to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens.

Cities Alive
April 2014
160 pages

Excerpt: Pages. 85-89

“Rooftop farms in some of the world’s most crowded cities, including Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo, are adding green to the gray. They are reconnecting city dwellers with nature, teaching consumers about homegrown food and offering a glimpse, perhaps, of a more secure and sustainable food supply.”
—Mary Hui, New York Times (2012)

Many commentors now predict that we will see peak food around the world in the next two decades— we will begin to consume more food than we can possibly produce. Following that, alternatives to the current model of mass agriculture will have to be found. A big potential for an alternative model lies within the idea of the natural city.

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April 9, 2014   No Comments

Raised Beds Design For Schools Wins First Place

kitchbedsClick on image for larger file.

The Kitchen Community worked closely with award winning artist and designer, Jen Lewin Studios, to create the Learning Garden concept. The very first raised bed system was fabricated using sheet steel powdercoated in a pearlescent white finish.

Rotational Molding Division of SPE
Professional Division
1st Place – $3000
Jamie Wirkler, Product Manager, The Kitchen Community- Garden Bed


In 2012, The Kitchen Community connected approximately 30,000 children to nutritious food by creating 50 Learning Gardens in schools across the U.S. In 2013, an additional 110 schools were granted Learning Gardens to bring the total children impacted to 100,000 and growing.

An outdoor classroom and experiential play space enables children to learn the value of growing their own food, discovering where it comes from and how it should taste. Science, Technology, Education, Arts, and Mathematics are interwoven into our education program to provide teachers with a head start to using the Learning Garden.

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March 27, 2014   Comments Off

1946 – Hasty and Tardy in the Vegetable Garden

hast1Click on image to make larger.

“Watcha doin’ Tardy?” (Five pages)

Oct. 1946

Tardy is putting in a vegetable garden, and the next day, while checking on his carrots, Tardy discovers them all gone. He sets a trap to catch the thief and discovers that Hasty is responsible.

See the rest of the commix on next page.

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March 20, 2014   Comments Off

What if? New York as A Giant Urban Farm

For the past six years, the urban research nonprofit Terreform has carefully considered exactly what New York City would look like if everything New Yorkers ate was grown inside city limits.

The New York City (Steady) State is considering what it would mean if the city’s 8 million residents were entirely self-sufficient, from the food they eat to the fuel they burn.

By Adele Peters
Fast CoExist
Mar 6, 2014


“At some level, it’s absurd,” says Michael Sorkin, who leads Terreform. “We discovered that with intense use of vertical agriculture and a change in diet, we could in fact physically provide the facilities to grow 2,500 decent calories for every resident in New York. But the energy estimates were so enormous we estimated that 25 nuclear power plants would be required.”

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March 14, 2014   Comments Off

‘Smitty’ Rooftop Victory Garden – 1942


Four page story!

“Ah! A letter for me!!”
Script, Pencils, Inks: Walter Berndt
Characters: Smitty; Mr. Bailey; Herby
Four Color (1942 Series)
(Must see. Mike)

Mr. Bailey puts in a Victory Garden on the roof of his office building. Later Herby tries to get up the nerve to buy a war stamp from a booth and get a kiss from a girl he likes.

“It’s a Victory Garden. Everybody’s doing something to help these days. Every little bit helps. I’ve got carrots, peas, onions, corn, all the good vegetables growing.”

See four full pages of the comix over the page.

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March 12, 2014   Comments Off

Value Farm – Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture 2013

See more photos of the project here in full size.

The concept is transplanted onto a full-scale 2,100m2 open site within the factory premises as “test ground”.

Design Team: Gary Law, Bill So, Sam Wong
Curator (program): Tris Kee, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong
Executive Partner: Chi Fai Fung, Farming Consultant

Value Farm creates value by cultivating the land as a collective effort. The project intersects issues of urban transformation, architecture and urban agriculture with an international cultural event, and explores the possibilities of urban farming in the city and how that can integrate with community-building. It forms part of the Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture 2013 (UABB), within Ole Bouman’s Value Factory located at the Shekou Former Guangdong Glass Factory in Shenzhen, a site that is itself undergoing radical transformation.

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March 10, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Beehive – Philips Design Concept


The urban beehive is a concept for keeping bees at home

By Philips Design


The beehive is designed to allow us a glimpse into the fascinating world of these industrious creatures and to harvest the honey that they produce.

The design of the beehive is unconventional, appealing, and respects the natural behavior of the bees. It consists of two parts: entry passage and flower pot outside, and glass vessel containing an array of honeycomb frames, inside.

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February 28, 2014   Comments Off

Austin, Texas plans 2 acre Food Forest

austinfoodforestClick on image for larger file.

Locavores planting seeds for the next phase of urban agriculture. East Feast Festival Beach Food Forest.

By Anna Toon
The Austin Chronicle
Feb 14, 2014


Modelled after the Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, the proposed East Feast Festival Beach Food Forest pilot project is slated for the south side of the Festival Beach Com­mun­ity Garden, just east of I-35 at Waller Avenue and Clermont Street on the north shore of Lady Bird Lake. Roughly 2.15 acres of land would be reimagined into an edible landscape, complete with fruit trees, a butterfly garden, kids’ play structures, and a stormwater wetland filtration system, in addition to other features. Though hardly a new concept – there’s a 2,000-year-old food forest in the Moroccan desert – a food forest will certainly be new to Austin, providing an additional layer of sustainable food production.

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February 25, 2014   Comments Off

Student-designed “Vermiculture Furniture” for home composting

Photo by Amy Youngs /Ann Silverman.

“Vermiculture Furniture” course held at Ohio State University

By Kimberley Mok
February 10, 2014


Hoping to use design to bridge the gap between worms and humans in the home, Kay Bea Jones, Associate Professor of Architecture at Ohio State University, along with artist Ann Silverman and Associate Professor of Art Amy Youngs, recently taught a “Vermiculture Furniture” course that got fourteen students of different disciplines to come up with their own idea of what it means to “design with the compost cycle in mind, and invite worms into the home.” On the course page they explain how a thoughtfully designed kitchen could do much to integrate and “normalize” composting in our daily lives:

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February 17, 2014   Comments Off

Kansas City’s Urban Food Map

See it here.

Get connected with the farms, gardens and markets in your neighborhood and help Kansas City get growing!

By Cultivate Kansas City
Feb 2014


We are thrilled to launch our interactive Get Growing KC Map! This is a wonderful resource for our community to connect with urban farmers, community gardens, educational gardens and farmers markets. Go in and add your farm, garden or market! You can upload a photo, tell people where to find your produce, or let the community know if you have garden plots available! Get connected with the farms, gardens and markets in your neighborhood and help Kansas City get growing.

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February 17, 2014   Comments Off

OVAM EcoDesign Award Pro’13 – Modular Chicken Coop and Garden

Click image for larger photo.

Studio Segers will receive a cash prize of 2,000 euros for their design

By Studio Segers
Graphic Interior Product Design

Daily needs outdoor Chickens Dodesign chicken coop, composting, city farming

City Farming is Booming: Daily Needs Modular Chicken Coop and Garden provides all the components you need to assemble housing for chickens and small pets, raised beds for vegetables, composting bin, and tool shed in a configuration of your choice.

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February 1, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver community garden integrated around existing tennis courts

Click on image for larger file.

Vancouver approves community garden proposal for Riverfront Park

The Fraserlands Community Gardening Group and the South Vancouver Family Place Society have developed a proposal for a new community garden in Riverfront Park in Fraserview.
Proposed garden features
The initial concept for the garden includes the following amenities:
Garden integrated around the existing tennis courts
40 community garden plots
Wheelchair-accessible flower beds
Fruit trees

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January 27, 2014   Comments Off

The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects


76 Useful Things You Can Build to Create Customized Working Spaces and Storage Facilities, Equip the Garden, Store the Harvest, House Your Animals, and Make Practical Outdoor Furniture

By Spike Carlsen
Storey Publishing
2014 – coming in April

Homesteaders, gardeners, small farmers, and outdoor living enthusiasts will love these 76 DIY projects for practical outdoor items designed to help you live more sustainably and independently. Expert woodworker Spike Carlsen offers clear, simple, fully illustrated instructions for everything from plant supports and a clothesline to a potting bench, a chicken coop, a hoop greenhouse, a cold frame, a beehive, a root cellar with storage bins, and an outdoor shower. Most of the projects are suitable for complete novices, and all use just basic tools and standard building materials.

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January 24, 2014   Comments Off

If urban farming took off, what would Boston look like?

Image by Javier Zarracina for The Boston Globe.

A new ordinance makes it legal, even easy, to start a farm in the city. Here’s what the future could hold.

By Leon Neyfakh
Boston Globe
Jan 19, 2014


Until the turn of the 20th century, it wasn’t all that unusual for Bostonians to earn their living through farming, and as late as 1895, the city was producing more crops and livestock products than any Massachusetts town except Dartmouth. This changed as the city modernized and grew denser, driving real estate prices up and eventually, in 1965, leading to the passage of a citywide zoning code that introduced all kinds of bureaucratic obstacles to starting a farm anywhere in Boston.

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January 18, 2014   Comments Off

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander – Making the Modern Landscape


A Canadian landscape architect entering her seventh decade of practice

By Susan Herrington. Foreword by Marc Treib
University of Virginia Press
January 2014

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander is one of the most important landscape architects of the twentieth century, yet despite her lasting influence, few outside the field know her name. Her work has been instrumental in the development of the late-twentieth-century design ethic, and her early years working with architectural luminaries such as Louis Kahn and Dan Kiley prepared her to bring a truly modern—and audaciously abstract—sensibility to the landscape design tradition.

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January 12, 2014   Comments Off