Urban Farms: The cities of the future

Urban Farms: The cities of the future

To read the ISPRA data on soil erosion due to overbuilding and urbanization, we must not be happy. Of course we must reverse this trend by optimizing the consumption of soil for human activities, but at the same time it is also possible to evolve the meaning and concept of the City.
Urban Farms are thus proposed, that is to say the concept of cities that instead of being highly energizing (as are current cities), are characterized by implementing functions and processes typical of ecological systems and their ability to generate and self-generate. It has long been known that in many cities, even Italian, the inhabitants exploit the flat roofs of the buildings to cultivate their own mini “urban gardens”. Abroad, as in the United States for example, there are also real “urban farms”, that is urban farms.


Thus, in the evolutionary principle of Smart Cities, an interesting functional strand is inserted that allows urban centers to integrate with Nature and with agriculture, making this last protagonist of the urban planning of the future. The new smart city is not limited to consuming less, but is itself a productive body.
It is a great challenge where Urbanists and Dottori Agronomi e Forestali, following the Ethical and Functional Principles of Nature, are challenged in a new highly sustainable and functional urban vision.
But there is more: this evolution is the solution to that discomfort, especially youth, which arises from the lack of experience and consequential psychophysical growth that today our children can no longer experience far from rural areas.
Therefore a new urban concept will have to be born (from the ashes of the post-industrial one, now sadly failed) based on systemic principles and multifunctional and energetic connections.
Everything is this is not just theory and science fiction; certainly there is a lot to work on but the examples of the vegetal wall by Patrick Blanc, of Bosco Verticale by Stefano Boeri are the prototype of those Urban Farms that for ex. the Londoners Spark propose for the congested and miniscule city-state of Singapore, by the ever older population; large Homefarms full of services in which the long-lived ex-baby boomers can devote themselves to urban agriculture, removing not only the spectrum of food shortages and total dependency from abroad but also the psychological condition of being affected by the actors of their own future. The metropolis imagined by the “Réinventer Paris” competition is also interesting. Among the projects to mention, the Tour Masséna of Lina Ghotmeh, which not only makes a complete but also sustainable food cycle possible.
Also in Italy it is working in this direction: the young Capobianco, Capuzzo Dolcetta, Lazar and Troiani have won with the “Nursery Fields Forever” the AWR International Ideas Competition for the project of an asylum in London. An asylum that feeds the curiosity (and therefore the psychological and educational aspects) of children towards agriculture and the natural world, orienting the educational approach in a holistic and environmentally friendly way.
The future has begun but we must bring it to everyone’s knowledge.

Guido Bissanti

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