Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Legacy Department

Landscape Architecture

Advisor

Powers, Matthew

Committee Member

McCubbin , Mary Beth

Committee Member

Nassar , Hala

Abstract

Urban Agriculture is a growing movement that has resulted in response to the world's increasing urbanization. As global urban populations continue to multiply, the demand to supply healthy and nutritious food to cities has magnified. More than half of the global population now lives in cities and this trend continues to increase exponentially. This phenomena raises the question: How will cities continue to sustain and feed their growing populations now and in the future? Cities are hungry for sustainable ways to grow, access and consume healthier, more delicious food. The current industrialized food system is unsustainable due to escalated dependency on fossil fuels, monocultures, genetic modifications, processing and long distance food transport. Furthermore, repercussions of urbanization has contributed to the proliferation of food desert communities, food insecurity, high carbon emissions and environmental pollution. Moreover, a lack of healthy food access in cities has threatened public health. This study re-imagines a new food system design approach that emphasizes localization of food production. This is achieved through the application of three typologies of urban agriculture networks that as a connected whole, become a city's new food precinct. A closed loop system concept of growing, processing, retailing, celebrating and composting food locally is proposed. This model encourages cities to become more self-sustaining through new, exciting and productive food landscapes. The methodology uses a design process of observation, research, and interviewing resulting in an urban agricultural intervention for the study site in North Charleston, SC. Interview results show that residents of North Charleston and surrounding areas are most concerned about adequate healthy food access, ecological health, and food education. Therefore a typological agriculture system design was prototyped to revitalize the community's needs and become a model for the region and the world. The integration of productive, green infrastructure acts as a catalyst that feeds, heals and empowers North Charleston's self-sustaining, urban agriculture future.

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