Vertical Cities 2013: Everyone Harvests
Two interdisciplinary teams of CED architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and city and regional planning graduate students developed and presented proposals for the third Vertical Cities Asia International Competition in Singapore to address the question, “How does a rapidly growing Asian city facing issues of sustainability and quality of life also address the region’s food production needs?”
Vertical Cities Asia challenges teams from 10 schools worldwide each year to find sustainable high-density solutions to reduce the effects of Asia’s rapid urbanization on land, infrastructure, and the environment. This year’s theme, “Everyone Harvests,” challenged students to create innovative approaches to urban agriculture and food production in the context of Asia’s accelerating urbanism, at a site adjacent to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Two Berkeley teams of 15 students total participated as part of a studio course led by Renée Chow, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at CED. 14 students traveled to Hanoi for field research and two members from each team presented final proposals to an international jury in Singapore.
The competition exposes CED graduate students to interdisciplinary collaboration at an international level, and Chow described Vertical Cities as one of her most rewarding studio experiences as a teacher, designer, and architect. “The students were totally motivated to see and deeply understand another place. They learned to collaborate which also transforms their views. They now feel that as designers they can make a difference.”
One team developed a proposal for Farmways, which received an honorable mention from the competition judges. Farmways’ three-dimensional framework of vertical farm parkways integrates the urban and agricultural landscape with a closed-loop model of green market arcades, air purifiers, food forestry research laboratories, aquaponics, and clean energy cogeneration.
The second team’s Edge City proposal used a fingered interface at the edge of the urban boundary to reconnect fresh food production and consumption economies, replacing Hanoi’s outer ring highway model with a dynamic corridor of production, storage, packaging, processing, and distribution.