Carrot City Designing for Urban Agriculture

Leadenhall Street City Farm

Exhibit Category / Catégorie de l'expo: Community & Knowledge

Location/Emplacement: London, UK
Dates: 2009
Designers/Concepteurs: Mitchell Taylor Workshop
Clients: British Land

More Information/Plus d'informations: n/a
Image Credits/Crédits d'images: Mitchell Taylor Workshop

Project Description: (version française ci-dessous)

In many cities around the world, prominent city centre sites often stand empty, boarded up or used as temporary parking lots for years while they await development. These locations offer opportunities for short or medium term urban agriculture projects. In 2009 Mitchell Taylor Workshop won a competition to propose a use for up to 5 years, with a budget of only £125,000, for an empty site at Leadenhall Street in the City of London, where a proposal for a 47-storey commercial building was “mothballed” due to the credit crunch and reduced demand for office space.

The `City Farm` project is full of innovative ideas about how urban agriculture and the commercial world of finance can interact and co-exist alongside one another. There is even a subversive element to the project: after experiencing this landscape, people revolt against the typical barren landscape they are exposed to and demand a new urban environment more closely integrated with the natural cycles and systems around them.

The proposal aims to provide public open space in three distinct growing areas designed around the climatic conditions imposed by the surrounding buildings. Fruiting vegetables, soft fruits, herbs and root vegetables that need the most sunlight are located in the sunny northern part of the site. Leafy, green crops such as cabbages, broccoli and spinach that can cope with partially shaded conditions occupy the central part of the site. The southern part is in deep shade from adjacent buildings so here, a log forest of exotic mushrooms interspersed with shade-tolerant crops such as rhubarb and mint is proposed. City workers can escape to lunch among the shade, while children can learn about food sources and food preparation processes. The proposal enlivens the public face of the Leadenhall Street frontage by a series of pods behind expressive hoardings that house food outlets selling fresh produce grown on site and prepared meals with local ingredients.

Although this project was never implemented, the proposal has stimulated discussion about how other vacant sites can start to engage the public realm and developers have been encouraged to carry out temporary makeovers of recession-hit sites to ensure that they do not blight the area.

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Scale (Carrot City Category)


Location: City

Location: Country