You want fresh produce in New York? No problem: Residents and activists are converting vacant lots and rooftops into growing spaces at a record pace. While those kinds of spaces aren’t likely to run out anytime soon, Cooper Union architecture student Karim Ahmed is tinkering with the technology necessary to take advantage of yet another: the city’s waterways. His project would grow food hydroponically on “floating gardens,” the first of which he’s anchored in Long Island City’s Anable Basin.
Back in August when I wrote about The Plant, a former meatpacking warehouse turned urban farm in Chicago, I made only the briefest of mentions of the business incubation plans the founding organization envisioned for the space. The brewery planned for the space has received the most attention thus far, but if you head up to the rooftop of the building, you’ll find another sustainable business at work: The Urban Canopy. As you might imagine, they’re in the rooftop farming business, though they’re taking a quite different approach from most with their rooftop hydroponics system.
Is there anything you can’t do with a used shipping container? Designers have intrepidly redesigned these metal boxes that pile up at ports as everything from office buildings to portable commercial space to prison cells. Industrial designer Jon Friedman and environmental scientist Brad McNamara have found yet another potential use for shipping containers: small, self-contained urban farms. Combining hydroponics, solar power and rainwater harvesting, their Freight Farms concept recycles containers into “modular, expandable, portable crop production units.”
Airport food is generally only memorable for the high prices we pay for such lackluster fare. We don’t expect much more than this, and we’re happy if we can get it quickly enough to make our connection. That’s been the standard for as long as I can remember, but it turns out that as of mid-September, you can now add “fresh” and “nutritious” to the options at one US airport. Chicago’s O’Hare now has four restaurants that buy local produce for their menus, and, in these cases, “local” means “grown at the airport.” The airport has opened the world’s first “aeroponic” garden in Terminal 2, which grows “44 different types of organic herbs and vegetables” for use at Tortas Frontera, Wicker Park Seafood and Sushi, Blackhawks Restaurant and Tuscany.
Lots of building tech this week, from shipping container “farms” to a net-zero rehab to a “living building” in Seattle.
Shipping containers as mini farms?: Is there anything you can’t do with used shipping containers? Atlanta-based PodPonics turns them into small hydroponic “farms” for growing food near the point of sale. (via Triplepundit)
Solar collector by day, light display by night: Move over, Jumbotron! Industrial designer Meidad Marzan‘s Urban Tiles concept combines solar panels and OLED panels that can be installed on the outside of buildings in an array, and which “flip” to shift from solar collector to advertising display, big screen television, or even a massive artistic canvas. (via Inhabitat)