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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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Metropolitan Agriculture: One Size Doesn't Fit All

Metropolitan Agriculture: One Size Doesn't Fit All | green streets | Scoop.it
S, M, L, or XL-sized metropolitan agriculture? Mia Lehrer, FASLA, Mia Lehrer + Associates, said one size definitely doesn't fit all when it comes to cities, in a session at the ASLA 2012 Annual Meeting.

In an era where it seems like any school or community can start a garden, perhaps it’s time to step back and think about the bigger picture. What’s the goal? Lehrer thinks it’s comprehensive urban agricultural systems that are relevant to the unique cultural, social, and environmental conditions of a city. Metro-region agriculture, if planned, designed, and supported financially, can address issues related to social equity and health issues like diabetes and obesity, while building regional agricultural communities and economies.

The article discusses urban agriculture at varying scales, from the city to rural communities; this is because the footprint of any city really reaches far beyond the core — to the edges, to the suburban and rural communities and economies that make the whole metropolis work.


For more on this analysis of urban agriculture and how to best plan, develop and provide infrastructure for successful and sustainable revitaliztion projects that not only boost the local economy, but community health, read the complete article. Also included are links to resources, programs, and initiatives related to metropolitan agriculture.

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Scaling the Urban Future by Blending the Urban Past | Sustainable Cities Collective

Scaling the Urban Future by Blending the Urban Past | Sustainable Cities Collective | green streets | Scoop.it

Recently, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Seattle-based Preservation Green Lab made urbanist media headlines (including Emily Badger’s January 25 Atlantic Cities story) with a report stating the environmental benefits of green retrofits of historic buildings, as compared to new, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction. In addition, a local church restored as townhouses joined the list of intriguing Seattle adaptive reuse projects typical of national trends.

 

As our surroundings evolve, can we create incentives and inspiration for transformational places that are sustainable in form, function and attention to the past? I have touched on these questions before, when highlighting hill towns as placemaking icons and profiling Italy’s re-emerging Matera, the UNESCO World Heritage site also termed “the sustainable city of stone” (in The Atlantic last year)...

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Visualizing the "edible city" in three minutes

Visualizing the "edible city" in three minutes | green streets | Scoop.it

The American Society of Landscape Architects has produced another great video, this one about growing food in cities. I'm a big fan of ASLA's work, in part because of their terrific skill at public and professional communications.

This particular project contains both a short introduction to the subject of urban gardening and illustrations of a variety of types. Personally, I have come to prefer the word "gardening" over "farming" when it comes to growing food in cities, because... I like the idea of keeping cities compact to conserve land for real farms outside the urban-suburban footprint, while gardening at a lot or neighborhood scale inside the city boundary.

For me, the key test is whether in any particular instance city food-growing supports urban density and other aspects of urban life. If it does, I'm all in; if, instead, it conflicts, it's probably in the wrong place. Of course, everything is situational and subject to context.

The included video is full of great examples of how to produce food in ways highly compatible with cities and city living. Click on the link to enjoy the video...


Via Jandira Feijó
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Sprawl Repair: From Auto-Scale to Human-Scale :: DesignIntelligence

Sprawl Repair: From Auto-Scale to Human-Scale :: DesignIntelligence | green streets | Scoop.it
Leveraging design, policy, and incentives, sprawl can be transformed into complete communities with balanced uses and transportation options.
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