Sustainable neighborhood, Michael Sorkin Studio, 2008
Our task is to make Red Hook a sustainable neighborhood, therefore we propose that every resident should be able to work and have access to locally grown food within its boundaries. Our proposal focuses on creating as many possible ways of food production within the neighborhood: vertical farms, rooftop farms, aquaculture, chicken barges, with all interior blocks connected through planted areas built as bioswales to help reduce CSO.
A sustainable future will require increasingly localized food production. Because global populations are densifying, urban agriculture will become a necessary reality as the cycles of production and consumption begin to occupy the same space. This project speculates such a scenario for the neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn in which the densely populated area produces as much food as its 10,000 residents consume. This strategy requires solutions at various local scales: the building, the city block, the neighborhood, and the city.
In this vision of Red Hook agriculture has been integrated into every aspect of the urban form: green roofs are required for new construction and greenhouse retrofits are common. New zoning based around solar envelopes assures that all properties have access to the sun. The standard block has been redesigned to include productive land with solar exposures, and multi-story greenhouses ensure residents close proximity to the process of growing food —community participation and education are essential to the success of local food production.
New building typologies will be required to meet the increasing number of demands being placed on the land: productive, adjustable structures called ‘grow walls’ maintain the ground plain of open parks, create shade, and adjust for rain capture and easy harvesting. Productive barges effectively increase the space of the neighborhood by growing animals just offshore. These vessels capture water and produce the plants to feed the animals, in essence serving as a microcosm of the neighborhood. A collection and distribution system integrates Red Hook with the surrounding areas of Brooklyn, bringing food wastes to a processing plant where, by processes of composting and vermicomposting (worm-based decomposition), soil is produced which is then distributed among the food production centers. Rainwater is collected by a system of bioswales integrated into the street and block system which also filter out large particulate matter before the water is treated and then recycled, along with other grey water, into the agriculture system.
Status: School Project
Location: Brooklyn, NY, US
My Role: Co-creator
Additional Credits: Team: Brian Baldor, Karen Miller