Sustainable Food in the City: 10 Smart Urban Farm Designs

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

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The world’s largest indoor farm has already proven just how amazingly successful food production can be outside of standard agricultural setups, and these 10 urban farm designs and concepts take the possibilities even further by taking advantage of disused spaces, reaching high into the sky and employing modular, portable, prefabricated configurations.

Jenga-Like Urban Farming Ecosystem by OVA Studio

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The Hive-Inn City Farm is a prefabricated, modular farming structure that could brig fresh, locally grown food to busy urban districts. The structure reclaims shipping containers and stacks them in a Jenga-like configuration, with each container dedicated to a specific function from growing a certain type of food to recycling waste. The design echoes that of OVA Studio’s original Hive Inn concept, which uses the containers as individual hotel rooms.

SPARK Senior Living Center and Vertical Farm Concept

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This concept by SPARK Architects solves two problems in one by combining housing for Singapore’s rapidly aging population with urban food production. The ‘home farm’ creates a lush, vibrant garden environment that’s pleasant to live in while also catering specifically to the needs of seniors and using a vertical system to grow edibles, offering part-time employment for residents in the gardens

Mini Harvesting Station for Forgotten City Spaces

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On a smaller scale, various spaces around the city that aren’t being put to good use could serve as temporary locations for miniature farms. The Harvesting Station by Conceptual Devices can grow up to 200 plants within 43 square feet, and is topped with a water harvesting tower that irrigates the plants automatically.

Vertical SkyFarm for Korea

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Downtown Seoul, South Korea could become a powerhouse food production center if concepts like Aprilli’s vertical farm are actually built, potentially sustaining a significant number of the city’s large population. The tree-shaped structure frees up space on the ground while raising ‘leaf’ platforms far above street level for access to sunlight, and serves as an iconic symbol of sustainability.

Geodesic Rooftop Greenhosue for Urban Farmers

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Another small-scale rooftop ming solution is the Globe (Hedron) by Conceptual Devices, a geodesic dome for flat urban rooftops that’s framed with bamboo and functions as an aquaponic system to produce both fish and vegetables. Each greenhouse can feed four families of four year-round.

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Stopping Shopping: Eleven Eerie Abandoned Supermarkets

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

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Aisle be back… NOT! These closed and abandoned supermarkets give us a preview of the coming apocalypse – zombie or otherwise – when shopping simply stops.

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Once bustling, busy and brightly lit, abandoned supermarkets evoke a certain type of grim dreariness tinged with decay so palpable one can smell it… or is that just the foetid aroma of a packaged meat section needing a cleaning it’ll never get?

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Credit Flickr user Wampa-One for choosing an ominously overcast day in November of 2011 to capture this abandoned and label-scarred Foodland store in St Louis, MO, and for returning almost a year later as it was being demolished.

Blue On Blue

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Still abandoned but what a remarkable contrast from that doomed Foodland! Formerly a Vietnamese supermarket in San Jose, CA’s Japantown, this seafoam green & white supermarket once offered shoppers an eclectic range of SEAFOOD, GROCERY, GROCERY and ORIENTAL FOOD. Flickr users Travis Wise (Photographing Travis) and Paul George (snowcrash98), respectively, bring us the above images snapped on different blue-skied days in 2014.

Unfree Market

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Mr. Gorbachev tore down that wall but unaccountably left this Stalinist supermarket standing – go figure. Snazzy blue stripes notwithstanding, the former supermarket from the former East Germany no doubt offered shoppers a typical variety of Warsaw Pact specialties such as cinderblock-sized bars of soap, left boots, and rendered horse-hoof jello.

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Shopper also enjoyed free parking for their two-stroke Trabants, a bonus in a land where “free” was a four-letter word. Credit Flickr user Patrick Scholl (.patrick.) for visiting this abandoned DDR supermarket in January of 2013, camera in hand.

Terminal ACME

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New Jersey doesn’t get much bleaker than this seriously abandoned ACME supermarket in Egg Harbor City – and that’s saying something. Flickr user Kevin Jarrett (kjarrett) visited the decrepit and decaying market situated off US Route 30 on December 14th of 2014, and came back with the above images of retail despair.

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