Organizational Systems for Urban-Agricultural Landscapes
EDIBLE INFRASTRUCTURES is an investigation into a new mode of urbanism which considers food as an integral part of a city's metabolic infrastructure. Working within this mode, we explore the generative potential of such a system to:
• Create an urban ecology that provides for its residents within the given boundaries of the system via local, multi-scalar, distributed food production
• Enhance agricultural production by reconnecting the traditional waste-nutrient cycle which was lost with industrial farming
• De-couple food/energy costs from fossil fuels by limiting transport at all levels, from source to table
Our research is conducted via the building up of a sequence of algorithms, beginning with a Settlement Simulation, which couples consumers to productive surface area within a cellular automata type computational model. Based on precedent research, this relationship forms the basis for meeting urban and productive metrics while exploring emergent patterns in the distribution of dwellings and agriculture within a given territory.
Through topological analysis and interpretation of the simulation output, we explore the hierarchical components for a new Productive City. These patterns and resulting networks inform:
• the structure and programming of the urban circulatory network
• an emergent morphological organisation based around productive urban blocks
• opportunities for new architectural typologies
The resulting prototypical Productive City questions the underlying mechanisms that shape modern urban space and shows how agricultural production can also serve a social role, in the reintroduction of public space into the city.
We see our research as a small step in demonstrating the architectural potential of mathematical modelling and simulation in addressing complex urban spatial and programmatic challenges facing future generations.