2009 Awards of Excellence: Urban Farming Food Chain
Project: The Urban Farming Food Chain
Award Recipient: Green Living Technologies, LLC
Project Visionary: Urban Farming, www.urbanfarming.org
Architect for the Guardian Wall: EOA, Emily Osler Architect
TThe Urban Farming Food Chain consists of 750-square-feet of edible food-producing green walls mounted on buildings, concrete walls, freestanding or in parking areas, growing fresh produce (without the use of pesticides) at four locations in and around downtown Los Angeles, including the Central City East (Skid Row) area. The organizations that host these green walls use the food for their own purposes as well as donating a portion of their harvests to neighbors and/or organizations in need. Los Angeles was the pilot city for the Urban Farming Food Chain, a project now being replicated in other cities (New York, Rochester, Detroit, Las Vegas).
In addition to urban agriculture, the Urban Food Chain green walls provide important opportunities for education and community involvement. The designers suggest that the individual installations of the Food Chain can be seen as "links" connecting each location by intention and design, as well as presenting a new definition for the familiar “food chain” term. Through the creation, care and maintenance of the green walls, these city dwellers – normally far removed from the food production process – experience a more intimate relationship with the lifecycle of the fruits and vegetables they grow and consume. Judges singled out this project not only for its’ aesthetics and functionality but also for the way the Urban Farming Food Chain brings together economically disadvantaged people to promote self-sufficiency while encouraging collaboration and improved social interaction.
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