Urban agriculture: Design principles for enhancing sustainability

McPherson, Bryan Douglas
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University of Guelph

Urban agriculture (UA) is one way in which designers and planners can address the sustainability of food supply in cities. A well-designed UA site contributes to urban ecosystem health, and provides social and economic benefits to residents. This research aims to create a set of UA design principles that enhance the environmental, social and economic services at the site and community level by examining the interplay of sustainability, aesthetics and associated values. Methods include reviewing UA literature, examining exemplary case studies, conducting site inventories, and performing key informant interviews. The data is presented in a sustainability criteria matrix, as aesthetic principles, and in a design element inventory. Analysis of the criteria contributed to guiding design principles that can enhance site and community level sustainability services. The research examines the proposed design principles in the context of Agricultural Urbanism principles, and outlines suggested research opportunities integrating UA and aesthetic consideration.

Urban agriculture, Aesthetics, Sustainability, Food hub, Community design