As the interest and demand rises in New York City for locally grown food and the appreciation for a wealth of vegetables and plants deepens, there exists an opportunity to develop an urban agriculture for the city. Urban farming has the potential to raise city dwellers’ awareness of their food sources and increase their appreciation for agriculture and sustainable practices. In addition to providing fresh nutrient rich food, the farms will provide a wealth of new employment opportunities in the city as well as potential revenue from urban farm markets. Waste incurred by shipping food into the city will also be reduced and will allow for even fresher farm to table opportunities at the markets and restaurants. This open international ideas competition is for a Center for Urban Farming. This center will experiment with a small farm within New York City while also developing programs and serving as an educational hub for the promotion of urban agriculture. The facilities will house testing centers for developing means of safely and efficiently farming in the city as well as offices for staff working to develop land in the city and promote the cause. There will also be exhibition space and lecture space for events and symposia. While farming is a fundamental part of our history, to make urban agriculture succeed, technology and science will play an important role. The celebration of progress and technology should be explored in the architecture for this project. The notion of a farm should be reconsidered as its placement in a dense metropolis is quite different than its historically rural setting in the same way that the use of hydro/aeroponics and other soil remediation techniques rethink the relationship of food to the ground. There also exist important variables such as the decision to grow indoors versus outdoors or on ground level versus rooftop. In any case the land around the center’s planning and use is vital to the project as well as its relationship to the building. The farm will recycle its black water to take advantage of rainwater harvesting. The center and farm spaces should strive for an exuberance to match the exciting potential and serve as a visual landmark in the city.
This competition is blind peer reviewed.
$2500 in prizes will be awarded and the winning designs will be published on suckerPUNCH.
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