Architecture and Urban Agriculture: Merging architecture and a local food system in Wellington, New Zealand
Urbanisation and agricultural development have for centuries had an interdependent relationship with each other, where the sophistication and systemisation of food production has led to the evolution and advancement of the city (Lim, Food City 5). Current global food systems seem to be exacerbating a disconnection between people and food production while concurrently harming the environment and biodiversity extensively (Kirschenmann 109). Therefore the demand for sufficient food for a growing population carries with it many challenges for environmentally, socially and economically sustainable food production (O’Kane 268). Local food systems are capable of mitigating many of the issues caused by the globalised food system, adapting local food production to suit the health and environmental needs of a community (O’Kane 274). This results in a more active participation in the food system by the community, increased social cohesion, a promotion of satisfying social and cultural interactions around food, a fostering of social responsibility and stewardship of local land, a nurturing of biodiversity, and a strengthening of the community’s economic vitality (O’Kane 271). This design research investigates the social and environmental benefits of integrating a localised food production system into an urban setting in Wellington, New Zealand, through the cross-programming of urban agriculture with architecture. The research aims to provide social and environmental benefits to a community and place, as well as raise awareness of the importance of a sustainable and accessible food system. This thesis suggests that merging architecture and urban agriculture can positively improve the quality of life of the residents as well as positively benefiting the surrounding environment and biodiversity.