Urban Planning - Community Food Systems
A conceptual project for a real world site. An urban community planning solution using integrative scalable food systems and mixed use residential.
The Sun Valley area of Denver, Colorado is a community development opportunity to support the needs of existing inhabitants through residential food systems, skills training in urban agriculture & the development of a riverfront residential typology that supports their family structure.
This project includes large scale urban planning, living food architecture, residential typological development & finally a specific residential schematic plan proposal as an understanding of the inherent constraints & opportunities.
The design constraints are to retain & restore the existing ecological flows of the site while planning mixed use/ residential & site drainage to both hold water in the site for smaller storms while managing it better during flash & 100-year floods
What is an urban farm?
An Urban farm is an intentional effort by an individual or a community to grow its capacity for self-sufficiency and well-being through the cultivation of plants and/or animals with a balance between education & production.
Business Model Considerations
Financially successful farms all have one thing in common: they have matched a potential market for their products with the right scale of farming so that products are produced for less than they are sold for. Urban farms face a unique challenge with this formula because the land available to farm is almost always small.
Living Food Systems Architecture in this project
Scaleable living infrastructure with green streets, edible living walls, individual residential courtyards & interior vertical gardens. As well as a larger scale not for profit urban farm.
Regenerative community infrastructure
Waste regenerative composting of all onsite organic waste-water grey water recycling systems in building infrastructure and restorer* technologies within the riverbed. This project also uses energy-photovoltaics and thermal mass paired with a transpired solar collector.
Therefore, the business goal is twofold:
1 Reduce production costs--sell to local markets/ on site is best
2 Increase revenue by:
a) Identifying niche crops that are in high demand and need to be delivered frequently, such as micro greens which have a higher price point
b) Develop a brand name that increases the value of the products by tying the non tangible benefits of the farm the name of the farm
c) Process produce into after-market products; such as salsa/ pesto
Designing a Sense of Place
Designing a Community Foodshed
Regenerative Resource Cycles
Agricultural Production & Green Technology
Crops & Vegetables:
above ground garden beds (due to industry production, soil is not suitable for in-ground beds)
perennial fruit trees-- fig, mulberries, Asian pear, pomegranate as a hedge for bordering farm plot
Hothouse - tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers
Hardy winter plants - brassicas (kale, broccoli, cabbage)
Climbers - green beans and hops- climbers bees, rabbits (make great compost)
Diversity planting - polyculture crops in combination with permaculture design layout of plantings
Technology - *Green tech: wastewater treatment and restorer riverbed technology and riverbed restoration with two separate systems
Animals - using this as an opportunity to establish a wildlife corridor
Food Landscaping integration
Living wall - interior residential
Currently zoning is compatible with the plan for this urban farm & residential community with food systems integration
Agriculture zoning can be overlaid on top of existing residential, commercial, or industrial areas.
Legalizing the sale of products from the urban farm can be an additional component
Commercial farm areas & wilderness corridors can be designated as land trust to prevent development