The collapsing relationship of urban and rural space is many years in the making. Since the industrial revolution, the city and the countryside have been developing on interdependent but increasingly differentiated tracts; while the agro-industrial complex in rural areas centered on maximizing the yield and stretch of arable land, metropolitan areas incubated the two-headed economic engine of creative/intellectual capital and industrial manufacturing made possible by population density. In the 20th century, these dual motives already began to generate tensions; as each domain struggled to support the growing demands of the urban population, cities worldwide began to expand into liminal landscapes, pushing back rural space and increasing the transportation distance between food production and the city center. Consequently, agriculture was required to intensify the productivity of each parcel of land as well as annex undeveloped land previously considered unsuitable for agriculture, with deleterious effects to the environment due to increased waste, chemical treatments, and habitat loss.
An alternative to traditional agriculture is needed; we must look for new models for production and proactively invest in a diversity of agricultural strategies and technologies. Our response must be approached holistically, as an insurance policy for both humankind and the environment.
This competition calls for prototyping a new rural-urban union that challenges the standard binary relationship between the two. We are searching for prototypes that “fold” the rural and urban landscapes together, to propose an integrated rural-urban infrastructure (using urban-farming techniques within a chosen context) to create a productive, hybridized future.
Participants should examine 6 prototypical “city” blocks with an average population density of 50,000 people per square mile. These six blocks must be located within a specific context chosen by the participant (e.g. within an urban region, existing city, depressed/smaller cities, rural area, countryside town) that supports the purpose of studying the possibilities and parameters of urban farming. Participants should consider water, energy, transportation, and its lateral effects on social, political, and cultural spheres of the city.
Projects should propose prototype(s) for a new rural-urban landscape and engage an existing condition, whether a city or a rural town or a zone in-between.
-Your argument should be tested by using a series of 6 “city” blocks that measure 200’ x 300’ (60,000 sq ft) and host a population density of 50k people per sq. mile.
-These 6 blocks can be combined or tested individually as long as the project uses the block as a prototype for a rural-urban landscape.
-The blocks can vary in dimensions and can host various population densities, as long as the block(s) total an average population density of 50k people per sq. mile within the allotted 360,000 sq. ft for the block(s).
-Projects should study the data of their chosen context.
-Projects should engage contextual factors (water, energy, and transportation) and elaborate on their influence in the prototype(s).
-Projects should hypothesize how their prototype(s) may augment existing social, cultural, and political conditions within their site.
Three A1 boards. There is no limit to the format of the boards. Make your projects arresting, refreshing, intriguing and engaging.
Plans, sections, elevations and renderings can be used when needed.
A video no longer than 3:00 minutes.
-The video is not allowed to show personally identifiable information.
-Axonometric drawings, plans, sections, and renderings are expected.
-Cited data on the existing context is strongly encouraged.
-Your submission must be subtitled in English.