Sunday, November 1, 2009

Victory Gardens

Location:San Fransisco Date: 2008
Designed:Local government

Victory gardens 2008 is a pilot project that the city of San Fransisco funded to support and encourage the transition of backyards, front yards, window boxes, rooftops and unused or left over land into organic food production areas.

The project builds on the successful Victory Garden, also called war gardens and/ or food gardens for defense during WWI and WWII. these gardens were planted with vegetables, fruits, herbs and others in private residences across the united states, United Kingdom Canada and Germany. their purpose was to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort plus to aid the war effort by keeping the morale of empowerment and labor contribution high.

The City of San Francisco redefine "Victory" in a new context as "growing food at home for increased local food security and reducing the food miles associated with the average American meal". 15 households were picked from a diverse background and participated in the program to be run again in 2009. In addition to that the Victory Gardens program created a quarter-acre, edible, ornamental landscape in front of San Francisco’s City Hall.

Urban Space Station

Designed by:Natalie Jeremijenko and Ángel Borrego.

This prototype of a parasite for urban buildings was designed to "sequester the carbon dioxide emissions from buildings and return oxygen-enriched air in exchange" and is presented as the final frontier.

It addresses New York City's existing buildings, approximately 750000, which account for nearly 80 percent of New York City’s total carbon dioxide output.

Redesigning urban socio-ecological systems means dealing with the dense array of competing interests

The prototype recognizes and addresses such problems as constrained zoning requirements, and "prohibitive construction and maintenance costs that are dominated by tremendous human capital costs" and states in opposition that the energy cost in demolition, site clearance and rebuilding any (or many) of these structures costs almost 3 times as rehabilitating these.

The installation and study bases its research on the knowledge that "the world largest cities while occupying only 2% of the surface area account for 75% of the worlds carbon emission; by 2008, for the first time, more than half of the globe’s population will reside in urban contexts" . yet density, vertical population stacking coupled with mass transit is the most carbon-efficient lifestyles. "New Yorkers, produce 71 percent less carbon dioxide per capita than the average American placing the need to continue improving this type of dwelling within a complex socio-ecological realm, is worth exploring".

Therefor the USS Interprise purpose is described as a product "to reimagine and reengineer our relationship to the urban ecological systems, now; to demonstrate, promote and advance closed and coupled system design for major improvements in resources cycling (a principle that can be widely applied if it can be concretely communicated to nonengineers); to produce a glamorous highly functional new space / facility that will seize, excite and engage the public ; to exploit the environmental services and functionality of vegetation and engineering microlandscapes; to provide and maximize habitat and nutritional resources for nonhuman organism with whom we increasingly share urban space (including small mammals, birds; insects; soil microbes; and aerobiology); to facilitate urban agriculture and beyond: to facilitate our productive interdependence with diverse organisms (beyond instrumental calorie production); and, perhaps, most critically, to invite and maximize the participation and potential of a new generations of human capital for hands-on engagement with redesigning our urban environmental systems."

USS is designed as a closed approach of a space station for an urban agriculture facility for urban roof systems with an open green roof. it is designed to address the structural constraints of a roof space with specific focus on loads coupled with the use of HVAC CO2 enriched output air and capturing more radiative heat energy. Its form is designed to to maximize radiative heat and internal thermal distribution etc. in addition the space station can generate its own energy plus provide a surplus of energy to the building.


Location:Wuhan, China
Designed by: Knafo Klimmer architects
Winning entry: Living Steel Website

Agro-housing combines urban and rural living together by designing vertical greenhouse spaces within high-rise apartment building.

The concept was developed because of concern for prediction by the United nations that state that 50% of China's one billion people will live in its cities, a common trend in many developing countries in the world.

The design challenges the 'new' strains on energy resources, infrastructure, and community displacemnet by presenting a new urban and social vision. The representation of a new building typology that will create a new order in the city creates as a space close to homes where families can produce their own food supply according to "their own abilities, tastes and choices to promote independent living, freedom and potentially provide additional income".

Moreover these greenhouse spaces provide a gathering space for the community. Agro-housing is one project but is meant to become a model for a new urbanity in China, contributing to the preservation of traditions and community values and diminishing the trials of rural migration.

The architects list a few advantages for this innovative building typology,some are:

Produces food for tenants and the surrounding community.

Produces organic and healthy food that is disease and fertilizer free

Creates an abundance of crops for self-consumption and sale for the neighbors.

Requires no special skill set for greenhouse operation