By Jay Herson
The city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, is expected to double its population over the next 20 years. Like many cities its size, Fayetteville has been growing by sprawl, which places strain on the land available to grow food for the local population.
Local food production is more nutritious, observes Jeffrey Huber, assistant director for the University of Arkansas Community Design Center. Food on the average American table travels 1,500 miles from its origin. By then, it has lost 80% of its nutritional value.
Working on a $15,000 seed money grant from the American Institute of Architects, Huber and an interdisciplinary team will work with the city government and local NGOs to create a “Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario Plan.” This plan will generate incentives for urban development incorporating an efficient means of growing, storing, preserving, distributing, and selling food locally. This will result in a model for urban agrarianism where the emphasis of design is around food production and how people live.
A visitor to Fayetteville in 2030 might stroll through Wilson Park and pass an orchard with apple trees or a mini farm with lettuce, green beans, and strawberries growing beside a walking trail. The plan will also include low-impact irrigation and water cycling, animal husbandry, and processing facilities. Private citizens’ gardens, neighborhood cooperatives, and both small and large farms and orchards will be integrated into the system.
The Fayetteville demonstration project is part of the Decade of Design awards sponsored by the AIA in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.
Source: University of Arkansas
Jay Herson is a senior associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and serves on the Steering Committee of the Washington, D.C., Area Chapter of the World Future Society.
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