Selected Entries 2018

Locavorous City

Saurabh Singla

Over the centuries, there has been an undeniable symbiosis between urbanization and food production. Before the start of agricultural cultivation, it could be argued that there was no such thing as a city. The history of human settlement starts with the hunter gatherer bands setting up temporary camps in areas where fruit, nuts, fish and grain were plentiful. The emergence of settled living was only possible through the deliberate concentration of food production on clearly defined areas of land.

Cities have changed profoundly, Now, we are hardly aware of the origin of the food we are eating, the environmental impacts of its production and the energy used in processing and transporting it to our homes. The food we eat consumes more energy than the calories it contains.

The thesis starts by looking at the megacities of the world and making a timeline starting from Jericho which was the first city originating in 7000bc till Tokyo in 2016.The timeline shows various megacities at different points of time and how they used to respond to immediate natural resources like River, forests, open spaces, agricultural land, agricultural produce, water bodies and also urban density and transport networks.

The thesis proposes farming in cities by going vertical with new farming techniques combined with traditional techniques to achieve food security and to reduce food miles making the city self-sufficient in terms of food.

The structure is a proposal of a community farm which is a prototype for the entire city and will cater to 1km2 area or more according to the requirements and site conditions. it can be a system where people either invest money or labour to get locally grown food and get the return by the profits by selling it in the market.

The proposed design is a mixed use typology of farming and housing combined with retail, institutional and office spaces. The farming happens on the southern side to get direct sunlight, the positioning of the crops is according to the light requirements of the crops. Housing is on the northern side of the building. The area between housing and farming is allotted for post production activities like processing and cleaning as well as labs for quality check and maintenance of the full hydropnic system.

Retail, Institution and office are at the podium level which also has a direct access from the road as well as from accessible roof of the podium where soil based farming happens. The roof of the podium is directly accessible from the road and is a community space.