U-Farm - Challenge to design an Urban Farming Center
Registration Deadline: Monday, Jul 3, 20238:30 PMIST
Submission Deadline: Tuesday, Jul 4, 20238:30 PMIST
The consumption pattern of humankind has become a vicious cycle of consumption and destruction. Humans extract resources from nature, create infrastructure, and produce wastes/by-products that lead to the degradation of ecological systems. To fight these deterioration concerns, the solutions devised rely on resources, again, from nature.
Issues like global warming and climate change have emerged as a result, posing a threat to the existence of humankind and the planet. Urban centres are operating on linear systems that contribute to the inefficiency of the consumption cycle. As the population in cities is anticipated to grow in the future, a circular economy system needs to be established to fight the threats faced.
Can a circular economy resolve all urban concerns of contemporary times?
Tacking the unhealthy cycle
Urbanisation has not only created a burden on earth’s limited resources but affects the wellbeing of both nature and man. Human health, safety and security are at risk in volatile and complex systems operating in dense cities. Requirements such as food, shelter, and income are provided through unsustainable supply chains to the general public. Food systems are the main concern in major cities around the world. The pressure of the population increases the reliance on external sources for fulfilling the food requirements.
Due to this, new methods of increasing food production in cities are being explored. Urban farming is an intervention that is strengthening its foothold in urban landscapes. Through this process, the waste loop is closed and a circular economy is created. Its contribution to the social scenario involves food security, improving the health of residents, and employment opportunities for local communities.
Can farming contribute to the city environment?
Bringing farming into the city
Urban farming can have far-reaching global effects such as reduction in waste production, greenhouse gas emissions and restore local ecosystems, ensuring the well-being of nature and man.
Brief: The challenge is to design an urban farming centre that can be used to improve the local food production in the city and as a skill centre for enthusiasts and out-of-work citizens.
A centre for urban farming will help increase the awareness of food supply systems and provide training and learning facilities for the unemployed factions of society. The design can be inspired by the city landscape. The centre will operate as farming land and an informal learning institute.
The aim of the centre is to promote farming in urban settings. The learning centre will be able to provide people with skills and equipment that can be used to incorporate farming on an individual level as well. The centre must be designed keeping in mind the local constraints of the site.
Balance: Privacy and interaction must be guided in the layout as per the nature of the activity. The balance between aesthetics and functionality, as well as open, semi-open and closed learning spaces.
Harmony: The design must establish some harmony or connection with the surroundings while having outstanding features.
Context: The design must respond to the (existing) site conditions. The wider socio-cultural, economic and environmental settings are to be considered in the design approach.
Sustainability: Reduce the negative impact of design on the environment, by improving building performance, reducing waste and ensuring comfort for occupants.
China has seen tremendous growth on socio-economic fronts, but agriculture holds an important place in the country’s progress. Despite the shortage of arable land, farming has flourished with intense labour and assistive technologies.
Shanghai is an urban agglomeration that is riddled with environmental problems. The city land is 32% farmlands and this has been decreasing in the wake of urbanisation. Food demand has risen with population density. As sustainable development takes foot, the urban farming trend has taken traction with efforts for terrace or roof farming, urban farmlands and so on.
The site is located in a neighbourhood surrounded by predominantly residential settlements. It can be accessed by Fuhai Road with many restaurants and eateries. Cooperative efforts between farmers, citizens and authorities are helping propagate the agenda of urban farming.
Site area = 8324 sq.m Height restricti metres Ground coverage = 50% Max FAR =1 Setbacks (as per CAD plan) Coordinates = 31°22'05.9"N 121°14'55.9"E
The following programmatic outline is the point to begin your design at. You can add more functions and activities in relevance or modify the below design programme.
Spaces to learn: Workshops, seminar room, multimedia room
Spaces to farm: Cultivation land, processing workshop, marketspace
Spaces to engage: Outdoor studios, exhibition space, cafeteria
Runner - Up - 1400$ x 6
People's Choice - 600$ x 4
Honourable Mention - 600$ x 12
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