Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Urban Farm Block

Greening—and feeding—the city with a ‘garden block’

Start with the standard grid. It can be found all over North America, but the following sketch is based on the 340-by-340-foot block in the Fan neighborhood of Richmond. Cobble together property ownership for the whole block into something like a community land trust. Households would own their home individually but share ownership of the land with the other 38, in this case, units on the block. Certain commitments to planting and maintaining the garden, either personally or through payment, would be built into an HOA contract.
Garden block rendering
(Daniel Nairn renderings)

The exterior of the block functions as in any other urban area. The public streets are activated by the fronts of the buildings and streetscape features, and the full range of transportation access to the rest of the city is available. The interior, on the other hand, is devoted to the more constrained social scale of the block community, and the structures serve as a wall protecting this garden area. Enclosure is necessary to provide a degree of privacy, to protect produce from theft and vandalism, and to keep animals from wandering.

Read the rest at Grist...

1 comment:

  1. In New York City, especially on the East Side adjacent to Central Park, there are private parks within the confines of the pre-war buildings that surround them, virtually unknown to the majority of people. I have been told that in some, people actually grew vegetables and others have fruiting trees, figs, apples, etc.

    As an aside, Detroit should be the focal point for a new urban revitalization along the lines you have mentioned. The darned city is just about abandoned, and an army of young, motivated Americans could be the beginning of a new era of prosperity and sustainability.

    Best Regards,
    Albert A Rasch™
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Afghanistan, Permaculture, and Beekeeping