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Diagrammatic section
Diagrammatic section

Street 2050: Inner city foodprint in 2050: 1000 m long, 20 m wide and 15 m high. Metabolic urban food chain and vertical street farm on Gedempte Zuiderdiep in Groningen. Neighbourhood 2050: Metabolic food chain in Groningen’s inner city zone. City 2050: Linked food chain zones become a flow city. Region 2050: Metabolic nature and energy. Region 2018: Inner city foodprint in 2018: 25,000 hectares projected onto the region east of the city.
Street 2050: Inner city foodprint in 2050: 1000 m long, 20 m wide and 15 m high. Metabolic urban food chain and vertical street farm on Gedempte Zuiderdiep in Groningen. Neighbourhood 2050: Metabolic food chain in Groningen’s inner city zone. City 2050: Linked food chain zones become a flow city. Region 2050: Metabolic nature and energy. Region 2018: Inner city foodprint in 2018: 25,000 hectares projected onto the region east of the city.

Aerial perspective
Aerial perspective

Perspective longitudinal section
Perspective longitudinal section

Perspective cross section. Below street level: bread chain, wheat and bread museum, data centre, vertical farm (wheat production) and transport of food and people.
Perspective cross section. Below street level: bread chain, wheat and bread museum, data centre, vertical farm (wheat production) and transport of food and people.

Impression
Impression




PROJECTINDEX
 
VERTICAL FOODLINE IN GRONINGEN
Academie van Bouwkunst Groningen
ARCHITECTURE

A metabolic urban food chain
This project is a scenario study. The Foodline provides an urban food chain, including vertical urban agriculture, through the stacked production of water-based food in a conditioned and artificially lit space. It unhitches intensive agricultural production from the usually large-scale use of space, raw materials and energy. With a smart design we can even let our food production grow while reducing our food footprint. The unparalleled potential of this solution has been explored at a specific site in Groningen.
A solution this radical is needed, as the production paradise we maintain to fuel our overconsumption now threatens to drastically upset the balance of raw materials. The upshot will be an inevitable shortage of food and water on a planet whose population is expected to swell from 7.5 billion to 10 billion by 2050. And yet there is still no sign of a change of mentality. Many see it as something of future concern, an attitude that is now seriously threatening human life on earth.
The Foodline addresses the global spread of persistent, ingrained patterns of production and consumption – hardly a regular graduation subject for an architecture student. The fact that it concerns a fundamental spatial task has still scarcely dawned on the design world. All the same, we will have to combine systematic research into our food and production chains with spatial design if we want to continue to regard the earth as our permanent home.
We scarcely stop to consider the impact our agricultural activity is having on the space we occupy. Yet there can be few aspects that have more deeply influenced the course civilization is taking. Since Dutch agriculture’s post-war intensification under Sicco Mansholt, then Minister of Agriculture, this influence has taken on increasingly negative connotations. We are depleting agricultural land, consuming essential supples of raw materials and polluting groundwater with all the destructive ecological consequences for people, animals, nature and climate. In short we must radically revise the relationship between agriculture and space.
Projected at Gedempte Zuiderdiep in the city of Groningen, this design is for a landscape structure of 1000 x 20 x 15 metres with compact closed cycles integrated into it. Here water is both purified and reused and we can grow wheat for bread, in vitro meat and vegetables. In this structure we can fit the foodprint of the inner city’s 11,000 inhabitants, who require 23,000 hectares of traditional agricultural land, something like a quarter of Groningen province! We can reorganize and combine functions, make small production and processing chains and create new, green public space, making Groningen more climate adaptive in the process.
This new perspective on space and food will enrich Groningen’s metabolism. It sees the food system as part of the urban metabolism, where intensive production and processing, an efficient use of space and circular cycles all have a place. These are principles that enable us to shape space in an entirely new way.