growingcity: urban agriculture growingcity: urban agriculture
oct 10, 2010

growingcity: urban agriculture

growingcity research proposals

growingcity is a research and design thinktank focused on exposing the potential of urban agriculture. founded by saranga nakhooda and devin lafo upon graduation from columbia university GSAPP, they strongly believe that the growing movement of local food production has the power to vastly benefit our cities – socially, environmentally and bodily.

the world’s population is becoming increasingly urban. understanding, evaluating and re-envisioning the systems by which cities operate are crucial steps towards creating a sustainable future, and to affecting positive change through architecture and design. as city life becomes progressively dominant, we become increasingly distant from our food sources – a trend that has profound implications in terms of both food security and environmental impact. on average, major cities import 6,000 tons of food each day, with an average distance of 1,700 miles between grower and consumer.

these design proposals imagine an alternate possibility, one in which urban dwellers can grow their own food – expanding the economic base of the city, connecting people to a natural food cycle, and reducing food cost while increasing food quality.


this is a housing project that integrates shared greenhouse spaces with affordable housing. part of the idea here is to encourage social connectivity through the producitive use of spaces that are normally unused, such as the rooftop.

the entire site is oriented to the south to maximize natural light, and residents have the option to grow vegetables year-round in rooftop greenhouses that extend down through cores.


  • Legalize it!

    bear says:
  • why not just plant fruit trees to line the streets… Or how about herbs on a green roof…. green houses are only for COLD weather

    ywg says:
  • fruit trees yield food for a few weeks out of the year, which is cool, but growing units on light posts could constantly produce free, protected from weather, urban pollution, and other dangers

    g says:
  • Photoshop/ Max/Maya renderings is one thing.
    However, many of these designs seem impractical and seem out of touch with the reality of maintenance/affordability.
    In addition to generic renderings of utopian concepts, it would be interesting to see the specifics (energy, maintenance, economics and otherwise) of how these designs and systems would actually function.

    a. says:
  • I agree “a.”, it’s impractical.
    I can’t see the diference between the greenhouses, and farming a regular green roof ina a city.
    It’s about changing the society’s perception, and you’re creating more “”design”” usless staff that’s not gonna solve any problem.

    alis says:
  • I like the writing desk office situation, kind of edward hopper realist imagery.

    good communication has value says:

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