What Urban Agriculture Means for Urban Design

Charles Waldheim examines the current trend's roots in design and architectural history and how it might alter city form.

The idea of bringing food production to cities is not new, Waldheim says. In fact, it's a key element of three unbuilt projects by well-known architects: Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City, Ludwig Hilberseimer's New Regional Pattern, and Andrew Branzi's Agronica. In each design, agricultural landscapes are integral, organizing components.

These projects remind planners that although current discussions of urban agriculture typically focus on food policy, the movement brings broader implications for the city form, writes Charles Waldheim:

"To date the enthusiasm for slow and local food has been based, on the one hand, on the assumption that abandoned or underused brownfield sites could be remediated for their productive potential; and on the other it has been based on the trend toward conserving greenfield sites on city peripheries - on dedicating valuable ecological zones to food production and to limiting suburban sprawl. But these laudable goals are not much concerned with how urban farming might affect urban form. This suggests that we need to probe further into the possibilities of agricultural urbanism."

Full Story: Notes Toward a History of Agrarian Urbanism


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95