Agricultura urbana: Conceito
Diversas iniciativas têm sido empreendidas para diminuir a distância entre o produtor e o consumidor, melhorar a qualidade final do produto (sem pesticidas), gerar trabalho e renda, trazer o verde para a cidade. Segundo o professor Despommier da Escola de Saúde Pública da Universidade de Columbia, é possível plantar em fazendas verticais (prédios para agricultura urbana) com pouca agua, aproveitando a evapotranspiração das plantas, usando energia renovável disponível localmente, além dos resíduos da plantação e aproveitamento de águas cinzas. O controle de pragas e adversidades climáticas também é facilitado (leia reportagem entre os exemplos).
Agricultura urbana: Exemplos
Enquanto a tecnologia de fazendas verticais se desenvolve, um movimento mundial entende que é preciso cultivar mais perto do consumidor e sem agrotóxicos.
Deu no New York Times: Agricultura em Nova York agora em todo lugar. Temos muitas oportunidades de produzir nossos alimentos aqui mesmo, em nossas cidades tão desumanizadas e cinzas!
To Find Fields to Farm in New York City, Just Look Up
Ben Flanner of the Brooklyn Grange tending to a rooftop farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where crops include pattypan squash and beefsteak tomatoes.
By LISA W. FODERARO
Published: July 11, 2012
Back in the 1960s, Lisa Douglas, the Manhattan socialite played by Eva Gabor in the television sitcom “Green Acres,” had to give up her “penthouse view” to indulge her husband’s desire for “farm livin’.”
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Ángel Franco/The New York Times
Mr. Flanner, the president and head farmer of the Brooklyn Grange farming operation, picked greens last week for a restaurant in Brooklyn.
Today, she could have had both. New York City (the stores!) is suddenly a farming kind of town (the chores!). Almost a decade after the last family farm within the city’s boundaries closed, basil and bok choy are growing in Brooklyn, and tomatoes, leeks and cucumbers in Queens. Commercial agriculture is bound for the South Bronx, where the city recently solicited proposals for what would be the largest rooftop farm in the United States, and possibly the world.
Fed by the interest in locally grown produce, the new farm operations in New York are selling greens and other vegetables by the boxful to organically inclined residents, and by the bushel to supermarket chains like Whole Foods. The main difference between this century and previous ones is location: whether soil-based or hydroponic, in which vegetables are grown in water rather than soil, the new farms are spreading on rooftops, perhaps the last slice of untapped real estate in the city.
“In terms of rooftop commercial agriculture, New York is definitely a leader at this moment,” said Joe Nasr, co-author of “Carrot City: Creating Places for Urban Agriculture” and a researcher at the Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson University in Toronto. “I expect it will continue to expand, and much more rapidly, in the near future.”
For city officials, the rise of commercial agriculture has ancillary benefits, as well. Rooftop farms have the potential to capture millions of gallons of storm water and divert it from the sewer system, which can overflow when it rains. And harvesting produce in the boroughs means fewer trucks on local roadways and lower greenhouse gas emissions, a goal of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration.
Community gardeners and educators have tended plots and grown food for years. But they have only recently been joined by for-profit companies intent on getting back to the urban land.
Gotham Greens began harvesting from its hydroponic greenhouse on a rooftop in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn last year; it plans to open three more next year in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The existing operation, with 20 employees, grows bok choy, basil and oak leaf lettuce, and sells to retailers like Whole Foods and FreshDirect.
Brooklyn Grange, another farming operation, incorporated with the intention of finding a site in Brooklyn. But two years ago, a one-acre rooftop became available instead in Long Island City, Queens. The partners, led by Ben Flanner, the president and head farmer, spread out 1.2 million pounds of soil and started planting. This spring, Brooklyn Grange finally made good on its name, starting a second farm on a 65,000-square-foot roof at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where more than 100 rows feature pattypan squash, scallions and beefsteak tomatoes.
Mr. Flanner pointed out two benefits to an agricultural aerie — plentiful sun and an absence of pests. “There are a number of parallels with regular agriculture,” he said. “What we don’t have are deer or foxes or rodents.”
One challenge: wind, which can whip between buildings and topple delicate seedlings. “We have to be clever to come up with solutions to reduce the amount of wind on the plants,” he said. “We do a lot of staking and trellising.”
Plans are in the works for even larger operations. In March, BrightFarms, which develops greenhouses near supermarkets to shorten the food-supply chain, announced it would create a sprawling hydroponic greenhouse on a roof in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, that is expected to yield a million pounds of produce a year. The chief executive, Paul Lightfoot, said the greenhouse would occupy up to 100,000 square feet, making it the nation’s largest such operation when it opens next year. (Recently, the company reached an agreement with the A&P supermarket chain to sell the Brooklyn produce.)
And last month, the city’s Economic Development Corporation issued a request for proposals for a 200,000-square-foot rooftop farm on a city-owned building on Food Center Drive in Hunts Point, the food-distribution hub in the Bronx. “We’re testing the marketplace,” said Seth W. Pinsky, the corporation’s president. “It was a logical place for a rooftop farm. If we’re successful at Food Center Drive, our hope would be to replicate this elsewhere.”
While there may be a veritable prairie of empty rooftops in the city, not all are suitable for growing crops, Mr. Nasr, of Ryerson University, said. Roofs must be strong enough to accommodate the weight of either soil or a greenhouse, and if they are not, strengthening them can be costly. Access is also a challenge, with some buildings lacking stairs or an elevator to the roof. Not all roofs enjoy full sun, with shadows cast by adjacent buildings. And neighbors wary of increased traffic and noise can be prickly.
“But in New York City,” Mr. Nasr said, “even if you eliminate roofs for all those reasons, you are still left with a large number that could be considered.”
The City Planning Department recently revamped the zoning regulations to encourage green development, including rooftop farms, and the City Council approved the changes. The new rules, called Zone Green, exempt greenhouses on nonresidential buildings from certain height and floor-area limits. Such structures cannot, however, exceed 25 feet in height and must be set back six feet from the edge of the roof.
Amanda M. Burden, the planning commissioner, credited the changes with “creating more places for urban agriculture to take root in a dense, built-up environment.”
Whether the relaxation of the zoning rules will unleash a flood of new proposals remains to be seen. None, so far, are planned for Park Avenue.
A version of this article appeared in print on July 12, 2012, on page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: To Find Fields to Farm in New York City, Just Look Up.
Postado em 12.07.2012
Agricultura Urbana não é novidade, data dos primórdios da urbanização. Abaixo artigo que conta essa história.
Urban Agriculture Isn’t New
05/09/2012 by asladirt
In fact, it’s been around since 3,500 BC when Mesopotamian farmers began setting aside plots in their growing cities. In a review of urban agriculture throughout modern history at a symposium at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., a diverse set of academics and designers ranging from historians to landscape architects discussed how the practice has evolved over the ages, often been highly ideological, and continues to be loaded with meaning. Organized by professor Dorothee Imbert, ASLA, chair of the master’s of landscape architecture program at Washington University in St. Louis, the conference looked at why urban agriculture is such a hot topic among the public and designers now but also hoped to put the current interest in a broader context. As Imbert said, “the inter-relationship between food and the city has a long history.”
Here are snippets of presentations that covered aspects of urban agricultural history in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the U.S.:
David Haney, Kent University School of Architecture, said London in the 1880s was the first “global, industrial city,” in part defined by its massive slums. Public parks were an early “instrument of social reform,” an effort to bring green space to the poor masses but urban agriculture soon became another tool for improving the conditions of the urban masses. As the Salvation Army got its start, one of its first programs were “farm colonies” designed to help urbanites “take care of themselves.” In fact, urban agriculture was viewed as a way for “everyone to become self-sufficient.” Haney explained the early role of anarchist thinkers like Russian Prince Peter Kropotkin, who had been imprisoned for pushing for social reforms in Tsarist Russia and eventually became an influential social reformer in the UK, informing the ideas of Ebenezer Howard, who created the “Garden City” concept. Haney explained how early London urban agriculture communities rooted in anarchist beliefs went on to influence the growth of utopian urban farming communities in Germany. One called Eden, an early vegetarian community, is actually still a “well-known brand” in Germany.
Haney thought that the idea of self-sufficiency and urban agriculture has come full-circle again, gaining traction through today’s “eco-villages.” These “intentional, small” communities may have a lineage based in ”anarchist” beliefs, but are now more widespread. However, Haney doubted whether these are actually “models for urban growth,” given they aren’t planned to be part of broader urban developments.
In Israel, the early Zionist settlers in the 1920s saw small urban farms as critical to the development of a new Israeli society. By 1942, there were more than 4,600 urban farms, most of which were between 1,000 and 1,999 square meters, said professor Tal Alon-Mozes, a professor at Technion, the Israeli Institute of Technology. She described how many of these communities were comprised of women’s settlers associations that were key to “women’s empowerment.” Out farming in virgin territory, the women experienced “a sense of self-fulfillment, personal regeneration, and new hope.”
Early on, then, urban farms were ideological and connected with the goals of the Zionist movement. In the first master plan of Israel in 1951, urban farms had a “protected” place. However, Alon-Mozes said, eventually the Kibbutzim, rural farms separate from urban areas, dominated, becoming more prosperous and closely associated with Zionism. “They overshadowed small urban farms.” Kibuttzim were essentially the winners, and “history is written by the winners.”
Jumping time and space, professor David Rifkind, a professor at Florida International University, zoomed in on Italy’s fascist government in the 1930′s and the role of reclamation and urban agriculture projects in their African colonies, particularly Ethiopia. The government of Mussolini was interested in the “neat organization of landscape, its segregation into districts,” which also mirrored its efforts to create a system of “hierarchy and control” between Italians and the native Ethiopians and other nationalities. Urban plans in Italy’s colonies included “symbolically-rich spatial organizations” that reinforced the idea that Italians were at the top of the heap. Ordered landscapes moved parade routes from ancient Ethiopian sites to modern Italian ones. There were separate markets for Italians and Ethiopians, with linear parks serving as barriers. The Italians saw reclaiming Ethiopian swamps — unusable yet fertile soils — as central to their effort of taming and controlling alien lands. “Tilling soils” was also viewed as an activity of the empire.
Back in Italy, consuming a range of agriculture products from the colonies was viewed as a patriotic act. Rifkind showed funny images of children eating bananas from Ethiopia, being told that they were supporting the homeland through their daily breakfast. “By eating grains, fruits, oils, salts from the colonies, Italians were participating in the empire.” The Italians pushed food production in the colonies to boost self-sufficiency among the colonies as well though. With the onset of world war, Ethiopia needed to be able to stand on its own and not drain Italy of resources. Overall, urban agriculture was seen as a way to “cultivate the territories, control the local population, earn foreign capital through exports, and resettle and reform unemployed Italians sent over from the home country.” Still, Ethiopia never ended up serving the role Egypt did for ancient Rome, becoming the breadbasket for the empire. It just wasn’t a great place to grow many types of grains.
Back to Europe: In France, in a little known episode, great Modern architect Le Corbusier attempted to bring rational, scientific approaches to the typical French farm. Professor Mary Mcleod, Columbia University, said in contrast to the common understanding of Le Corbusier, he was for “increased density.” Upon visiting New York City, he was quoted as saying the “skyscrapers are much too small.” In the 1930s and 1940s, agricultural reform also became an interest of his. Some of his early urban concepts offered individual garden plots, with a professional gardener responsible for plowing and fertilizing 100 plots each. In contrast to the romantic visions of farming in Israel and the totalitarian ones among the fascists in Ethiopia, Le Corbusier wasn’t deluded, calling “the whole thing ridiculous and too much work.” He thought the last thing an urban worker would want to do coming home from work would be to engage in back-breaking gardening work to yield a few tomatoes. “Growing food is a job, not pleasure.”
In an effort to bring his rational, scientific approach to the countryside, he started corresponding with a local French farmer who also wanted to make farming Modern. Translating his Radiant City concept to the countryside, Corbu came up with the little-known and ultimately untested Radiant Farm model, which offered distinct zones with small pastures, woodlands, fields, and detailed community plans. No one would finance the project. McLeod seemed to say Le Corbusier’s “futile utopianism” was just another variant of ideological forms of agriculture that never really took off.
In the Netherlands, the rational, scientific approach actually worked though. Zef Hemel, University of Amsterdam, described how the 20th century “polders,” low-lying, man-made tracts of land formed with protective barriers or dykes, were created to create urban agriculture opportunities in expanded cities. Polders can be land reclaimed from water, land purposely-flooded and then reclaimed, or drained marshes. Hemel said the Dutch “love planning and don’t need to have any ideology to do it. We are just very practical.” In the Netherlands, the demand for polders came from an expanding Amsterdam, seeking out more agricultural lands around the city. Then, before World War I, the country started a campaign of “food self-sufficiency,” which led to the development a 30-km long dyke that yielded a 180,000 hectare plot for agriculture. A second polder created just before World War II was almost stymied by the Nazis but the Dutch managed to complete their work, creating a “livable, beautiful place with 40,000 acres of new nature.”
Today, Holland’s polders, which are productive farm landscapes, communities, and woods, are threatened by climate change given they are about 10 feet below sea level. Some Dutch policymakers are already worried about increased salinization as rising seal levels pour saltwater into protected freshwater bodies. Others are thinking about whether floating barge farms will be feasible. The Dutch are worried.
For professor Laura Lawson, ASLA, Rutgers University, people garden for “food and a whole lot of other reasons” in the U.S. Community is an important element, or as Lawson laughed, “drinking goes hand and hand with community gardening.” In the early 20th century, there were “vacant lot cultivation associations” designed to put unemployed workers to work. Hundreds of families were given plots as a loan, with the goal of making them self-supporting. By 1934, some 36 percent of relief food was grown in these gardens. With World War I and II, the U.S. saw the rise of war or victory gardens. In 1918, there were more than 5 million war gardens and by 1943, there were 20 million victory gardens. As an example, in Chicago, there were 2,200 acres of land donated to cultivate produce. For WW II, there were 33,000 gardens covering nearly 1,800 acres.
Today, Lawson said many cities are now revising local codes to allow for urban agriculture. Land trusts sometimes purchase land, enabling communities to commit to growing things. However, even in food deserts, not everyone wants to become an urban farmer: One Detroit focus group said “not everyone has the intent or capacity to participate.” At the local level, community organizations often take the lead, given most urban farms are non-profit. Lawson argued that in these local instances, there is often a divide between the landscape architects (experts) and community organizations (grassroots). Landscape architects have been ambivalent about urban farms in the past. During WW II, many were concerned about these pop-up gardens ruining their landscape designs.
In a later conversation, questions were raised about the role landscape architects should actually play in urban agriculture. One attendee implied that a systems-scale approach may be the most appropriate perspective for landscape architects. Lawson said that may end up being the right role, but “many landscape architects don’t teach gardening and perhaps need to or they will become unrealistic about what it entails.” Still, urban agriculture is expected to present “aesthetic” challenges for landscape architects. Can these designers make the spaces for the messy growing process and the equipment of a working farm seem more functional, beautiful, and integrated into communities? Lawson thinks that more landscape architects need to go to community groups to “learn their issues.”
This is the first in a series of posts about Food & The City, a symposium at Dumbarton Oaks. Read the second post, How Tokyo Invented Sushi.
Image credit: WWII Victory Garden, San Francisco / San Francisco Chronicle
Postado dia 21.05.2012
SOCIEDADE CIRCULAR – ÁGUAS URBANAS
Assista à animação de como água e comida podem ser produzidas de forma circular para produção de alimentos nas cidades, com reuso de todos os nutrientes e mantendo os rios e mares limpos. Foi feito pela FAO – organismo da ONU (Food and Agriculture Organization).
PDF sobre o tema:
Site da FAO com mais informações
Universidade japonesa cultiva alimentos numa estação de tratamento de esgotos. Veja abaixo:
Japanese University Grows Vegetables at Wastewater Treatment Plant
Toyohashi University of Technology (TUT) announced on September 29, 2011, that its project to establish a research and development center focused on the utilization of biomass, carbon dioxide, and heat has been selected for a grant designed to promote strategic science and technology from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The project will aim to verify the effectiveness of a food production cycle using waste and offer an advanced example of such a system, not only as way of combating climate change but also as something to be emulated by municipalities everywhere. TUT will receive financial aid from the ministry for five years from 2011 to carry out the project.
First, the project will treat sewage sludge and biomass together at the same sewerage treatment plant to produce high-quality fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, and biogas. The biogas will be used to generate electricity, while carbon dioxide and heat, byproducts of electricity generation, will be used to fuel the treatment system and adjacent plant and seaweed factories to demonstrate an effective way to use sustainable and renewable energy.
A reduction in the amount of incinerated sludge will lead to fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and thus is expected to directly contribute to climate change mitigation. After demonstrating the effectiveness of each process, including diversified waste treatment, establishment of a small-scale distributed power source, and improved food and fertilizer self-sufficiency, the project team will aim to present the system as a new solution for communities and recreate the system in towns across Japan.
Postado em 27.12.2011, por Cecilia Herzog
Produção de alimentos na vertical em plena cidade de Chicago.
Fish and veg take to the skies
The only way is up for farms and food businesses in Chicago.
Forget roof gardens; the only thing to have growing on a city centre building these days is a farm. Businessweek magazine has ranked the vertical farm [see ‘Japan's 21st century hanging gardens'] as one of its top 20 businesses of the future, and leading the charge is The Plant in Chicago, which opened this summer.
Created by entrepreneur John Edel, this former meatpacking factory is now home to a nascent fish and vegetable farm, along with several small food businesses. It’s an innovative solution, based on a principle known as aquaponics, where everything exists to work together. Tilapia fish waste is high in ammonia which nourishes the plants; the plants clean the water, which can then be returned to the fish. The businesses within the building work in symbiosis, too. So, waste from the brewery provides the perfect growing material for the mushroom farm.
All the building’s energy needs will come from an onsite biodigester, producing methane to fuel a combined heat and power plant. The digester will consume all the building’s food waste, as well as taking some from neighbouring food manufacturers. The Plant was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to develop the energy system.
Currently in phase one of development, The Plant plans to be fully operational, with a net income of $300,000 from food sales and business rents, by 2016.
The technology was developed with the aid of students at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and their professor, Blake Davis. He was particularly attracted to Edel’s entrepreneurial approach. “I agreed to work with John because he indicated that he wanted to build a profitable vertical farming business,” he said. “Representatives of The Plant have visited almost all of the vertical farming enterprises within 500 miles, and the vast majority of these do not have a sustainable business model. They are either not profitable, or they are only profitable because of [government support].”
To help spur entrepreneurial as well as vertical farmers, The Plant will host a full business case study online, including all financial information and a complete technical spec.
Slowly but surely, vertical farms are taking shape elsewhere in the world. In Britain, urban farm Alpha is in development in a derelict tower block in Wythenshawe, Manchester. The brainchild of local sustainability groups URBED and Creative Concern, it aims to produce lettuce, tomatoes, vegetables and even chickens, bees and fish in time for the city’s International Festival in 2013. The ancient walled city of Suwon in South Korea already has a working model in a small, three-storey building. Vertical farms are also being planned for Paris, Abu Dhabi, Bangalore, Beijing and New York. – Laura Dixon
Photo: Bubbly Dynamics
postado em 25.12.2011, por Cecilia Herzog
Window Farming (Produzindo Alimentos em Janelas)
Veja que é possível produzir alimentos em janelas, até mesmo na Finlândia no inverno! N´so aqui nesse país ensolarado temos muitas oportunidades de produzirmos o que iremos comer, temperar e alimentar nossas famílias em pequenos espaços. Existem muitas oportunidades que podemos aproveitar. Esse é um open source que desenvolveu tecnologia que pode ser replicada livremente para fugir das amarras da grande indústria que controla tudo o que comemos.
Pense nisso, e veja como pode ficar livre de agrotóxicos e se alimentar melhor, se conectando com as fontes de alimentos e de vida.
O vídeo está em inglês, e o site é http://www.rndiy.org/
Postado em 5.12.2011, por Cecilia Herzog
Reflexões sobre Agroecologia
Recebi de amigas e parceiras duas reportagens interessantes. A primeira veio da Daniela Kussama no site Mundo Sustentável:
e a segunda é a reportagem abaixo desta
A primeira vale a pena ler toda, acessem o link, aqui só coloco um tira gosto. É uma entrevista com o professor doutor – Carlos Armenio Khatounian, engenheiro agrônomo e ph.D em agricultura sustentável.
“Existe um receituário de agricultura sustentável capaz de alimentar o mundo todo?
Vou começar numa perspectiva histórica mais longa, para ser mais preciso. A nossa aventura enquanto espécie biológica começa há 150 mil anos atrás. Nessa trajetória, nós fomos sobretudo caçadores coletores. Só passamos a ser agricultores, em alguns lugares do mundo, entre 10 mil e 12 mil anos atrás. Então, a agricultura é uma maneira relativamente recente de nos relacionarmos com o meio ambiente.
Os vestígios da agricultura mais antiga revelam um sistema de derruba-e-queima. Muito antes de começarem as civilizações antigas, que desenvolveram a escrita, fizemos 5 mil anos pelo menos de derruba-e-queima. E foi só quando as áreas disponíveis nessas regiões tinham sido completamente degradadas é que nós passamos para a beira do rio. Para uma civilização primitiva, era praticamente impossível enfrentar a força de um rio, não tinha controle das cheias, que podiam levar todo um ano de trabalho.
Acontece que, nessas regiões onde surgiu essa agricultura hidráulica, a floresta não se recompunha. Então a agricultura ia deixando atrás de si um deserto. E, quando chegou o momento que não tinha mais área para fazer derruba-e-queima, eles não tiveram outra saída que não fosse descer para a beira dos rios. Então, o início da História já é marcado por uma crise ambiental derivada da agricultura, uma crise de desmatamento e desertificação.
(…) A gente deve estimular a agricultura familiar a se tornar mais eficiente enquanto tal, ou a gente deve estimular a agricultura empresarial?
O senhor tem essa resposta?
Não sou eu que tenho a resposta, é a História que dá. A História diz assim: é mais confiável aplicar na agricultura familiar.
Porque é mais adaptável, mais resiliente?
Sim. O Oeste do Paraná é uma agricultura modernizada e intensiva. Se você for para aquela região, você vai olhar e pensar: “Isso não é agricultura familiar”. Não é aquilo que você imagina, o sujeito passando fome e pedindo ajuda do governo. É uma agricultura familiar mais capitalizada, mais tecnificada, capaz de se desenvolver e passar por crises que a agricultura empresarial não consegue.
E sem agrotóxicos!
Centros de agricultura urbana em Porto Alegre
Boas práticas já acontecem no sul do país.
Reportagem enviada por Celina Lago do Blog Arquitetura Sustentável:
O valor de R$ 900 mil recebido pela Secretaria do Trabalho do Rio Grande do Sul deve beneficiar cerca de 300 famílias da região metropolitana de Porto Alegre (RS). Os critérios de pontuação para a seleção das propostas vão priorizar áreas com maior concentração de população em situação de pobreza e extrema pobreza. Os recursos são oriundos do Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome para a criação do Centro de Agricultura Urbana e Periurbana.
A diretora do Departamento de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional Sustentável, Simone Reis, afirma que o foco é beneficiar famílias do Projeto Hortas Comunitárias ou que tenham experiência. Ela explica os tipos de atividades que devem ser incentivadas pelo programa.
– Queremos desenvolver ações de agroecologia, educação ambiental e proporcionar a diversificação de culturas, incluindo plantas medicinais e, principalmente, fomentar para o desenvolvimento de ações, da implantação de políticas estruturantes que levem ao desenvolvimento sustentável – salienta.
A criação dos centros está prevista para iniciar ainda neste semestre e terá a duração de três anos. Simone informa que municípios como Canoas (RS), Cachoeirinha (RS) e Novo Hamburgo (RS) já realizam projetos similares e que serão procurados para fazer uma troca de experiências que deve auxiliar na formatação do programa.
Iniciativa de Agricultura urbana em Copenhague
DYRK Nørrebro | an urban agricultural initiative in Copenhagen, Denmark
picture of the roofgarden at Blågård School by DYRK Nørrebro
DYRK Nørrebro | an urban agricultural initiative in Copenhagen, Denmark
Urban agriculture, or agriculture in the city, is an ‘umbrella term’ that covers activities related to production of food in or on the outskirts of cities. A definition used by UN, UN-Habitat, FAO and other important international research institutions explains it as following:
“Urban agriculture is an industry located within (intra-urban) or on the fringe (peri-urban) of a town, a city or a metropolis, which grows and raises, processes and distributes a diversity of food and non-food products, (re-)using largely human and material resources, products and services found in and around that urban area, and in turn supplying human and material resources, products and services largely to that urban area.” (Luc J.A. Mougeot Growing Cities, Growing Food)
The most interesting thing about agriculture in the city is that it is integrated into the city’s own system. It means that it makes use of city resources such as composted waste as fertilizer, excess heat from buildings, a large variety of surrounding actors and their capacities. But most interesting is, that it has a direct contact with customers. Urban agriculture most effectively shortens the path from farm to table, bringing food and people closer together.
pictures of the roofgarden with its mobile raised beds as part of Copenhagens skyline by DYRK
DYRK Nørrebro is an urban farming initiative that works to expand vegetable cultivation in Nørrebro, Copenhagen and creates new urban communities. Nørrebro is one of Copenhagens 10 districts and is a multiethnic society, inhabited by people from all parts of the world. DYRK Nørrebro is a big opportunity for this multi-cultural and some times very devided and troubled district to connect and strengthen the community spirit. It is not only activating the area sustainably and connect with people, but also turns the ‘former conflicted’ image of Nørrebro into positive collective spirit.
Normally we all buy our groceries in supermarkets or other shops and often the goods are produced a long way from where you are living. By using the cityspace of your neighboorhood you shorten the way from farm to table significantly and this is one of the aims of DYRK Nørrebro. Most important for them is, that through vegetable cultivation in town, you can take active action in the long discussions about bad conditions for climate worldwide and they encourage everyone to attend.
Through mobile raised beds and an urban garden DYRK Nørrebro is giving access to kitchen gardens to create local production of vegetables and also focus on sustainability according to the idea of “thinking globally and acting locally”.
DYRK Nørrebros practical work has its roots in a garden center which is currently being established on the roof of Blågård School. Eventually they want to provide a framework for kitchen and flower gardens, beekeeping, soup kitchen, teaching growing lessons, workshops, lectures and harvest festivals and more.
pictures of the growing ‘DYRK community’ at Blågård School by DYRK
The mobile raised beds can be loaned to interested citizens, associations, institutions, cafes and cultural centers in Nørrebro. This way everyone can get started in a small home production of vegetables and herbs at their doorstep or in the backyard but also join the new community on the roof.
Since the initiative has been established in 2010 they have proved that realization of the ideas of food production and urban communities is possible and can have a future. Not only are they providing a local platform for Copenhagens citizens to act “green” and be conscious about the Earth in a scale that is possible and “manageable”, but they also invite you to join the platform as an active part of forming its future and aims.
DYRK Nørrebro is a good example for the growing communities of urban agriculture worldwide and in the future, we will hopefully all enjoy a more desirable, cheaper and healthier lifestyle within sustainable associations with a high priority of socializing and solidarity within people.
a yard at Vesterbro, Copenhagen by DYRK
More about urban agriculture in Copenhagen:
http://urbanagriculture.dk/ | A local danish blog telling and sharing all information about urban agriculture in Copenhagen, where to find it and how to be part of the action.
postado em 20.07.2011, por Cecilia Herzog
ARTIGO SOBRE AGROECOLOGIA EM ÁREAS DE MATA ATLÂNTICA:
Por que aplicar no entorno das áreas florestadas nas cidades? Seria uma maneira multifuncional de conter a expansão sobre áreas protegidas, produzir alimentos no local do consumo e sem agrotóxicos (sem pegada ecológica), gerar renda para a população local, além de criar oportunidades de educar e conscientizar os moradores de centros urbanos sobre as fontes de alimentos e os processos naturais.
Modelo agroecológico preserva bioma e reduz gastos agrícolas
Experiência realizada em plantações de tomate num assentamento rural de São Paulo mostra que a preservação de Mata Atlântica diminui os custos da produção e reduz a incidência de pragas na cultura. Nos experimentos, a porção de mata conservada agiu como um regulador de pragas e, segundo o engenheiro agrônomo Fábio Leonardo Tomas, os custos de produção foram reduzidos em até 84%.
Modelo oferece um produto orgânico ao consumidor e 84% mais barato
Tomas é autor da dissertação de mestrado A influência da biodiversidade florestal na ocorrência de insetos-praga e doenças em cultivos de tomate no município de Apiaí-SP, da Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (Esalq) da USP, em Piracicaba , que foi realizada com produtores das cidades de Ribeirão Branco, Guapiara e Apiaí, na região Sudeste do estado de São Paulo, que possui a maior produção de tomate de mesa do País. A área está localizada no Assentamento Rural do Incra “Luiz David de Macedo”. “O tomate é um dos cultivos mais suscetíveis a pragas. Nossos experimentos revelaram que a porção de Mata Atlântica conservada agiu como um regulador, dispensando o uso de agrotóxicos, que encarecem o produto final em até 70%”, explica o pesquisador.
O método desenvolvido por Tomas consiste em espalhar cultivos em clareiras de 25×25 metros abertas na Mata a cada 300 metros de floresta. Este recurso, denominado módulo experimental, apresenta-se como substituto do desmatamento de toda cobertura natural do terreno.
“Isso é uma abordagem agroecológica e sustentável que respeita e se alia à floresta, trazendo benefícios econômicos e sociais para os agricultores”, comenta Fábio Leonardo, pesquisador que desenvolveu o estudo sob a orientação dos professores Fabio Poggiani e Paulo Yoshio Kageyama, ambos da Esalq-USP.
O modelo adotado nos módulos experimentais de Tomas baseiam-se no experimento que seu orientador Kageyama utilizou para o plantio de seringueiras no Acre, denominado Ilhas de Alta Produtividade. “O mesmo princípio das Ilhas de Alta Produtividade foi utilizado no projeto para tomate. Acreditamos que este método também seja válido para outras culturas. Porém mais testes e experimentos devem ser feitos para confirmar isto em campo”, afirma Tomas.
Os dados foram obtidos apor intermédio da comparação dos índices das plantações convencionais, que retiram toda a cobertura nativa da área e utilizam agrotóxicos, e os produtores dos assentamentos, testando o método experimental de Tomas. Os dados foram captados em cinco módulos experimentais no período de 2008 a 2010.
Agrotóxicos e custos
“Os produtores antigos da região diziam que antes dos desmatamentos não haviam tantas pragas”, relata Tomas. Com o aumento das pragas foi necessário aumentar o uso de agrotóxicos nas plantações. Devido ao uso intenso de agrotóxicos e outros venenos no combate às pragas, a região sustenta recordes de uso de agrotóxicos e de contaminação de trabalhadores por estes produtos.
Durante os dois anos de estudo, foram entrevistados cinco proprietários de cultivos convencionais de 15 mil pés em média. Cada fazenda possui um trabalhador para cada cinco mil pés cultivados, ou seja, possui ao menos três funicionários efetivos, além dos diaristas. A pesquisa indicou algo alarmante: em cada roçado ao menos três funcionários relataram eventos de intoxicação por elementos tóxicos.
Os agrotóxicos também são responsáveis pelo encarecimento do tomate que é comercializado. “Enquanto em um cultivo tradicional um pé de tomate custa cerca de R$5,00, um pé de tomate de uma plantação experimental custou apenas R$0,80”, cita Tomas. “Além disso, o mercado para produtos orgânicos, ou seja, sem agrotóxicos, é mais valorizado do que o mercado tradicional e gera mais lucro para o agricultor” completa.
Mais informações: email email@example.com
(Agência USP de Notícias)
postado por Cecilia Herzog, 13.04.2011
Tomara! Um bom uso para um lugar que cuidava de pessoas…vai continuar cuidando, agora da saúde alimentar.
Confira a matéria do caderno Zona Sul do jornal O Globo de quinta-feira 31 de março de 2011:
Depois de mais de três anos sem receber pacientes e como protagonista de um imbróglio sobre o destino para sua estrutura, o Hospital 4 Centenário, em Santa Teresa, pode finalmente voltar a ter uso. Abandonado por seus donos por conta de dívidas, o prédio está sendo utilizado como base para o projeto de uma fazenda vertical nos moldes da proposta por Dickson Despommier, professor de saúde pública na Universidade de Columbia (EUA).
O arquiteto paulistano Rafael Grinberg Costa, que estuda o assunto desde a faculdade, elaborou seu primeiro projeto para revitali$os edifícios São Vito e Mercúrio, em São Paulo. Por meio da mídia — nenhum projeto até hoje foi posto em prática em todo o mundo —, a ideia chegou às mãos do diretor comunitário da Associação de Moradores e Amigos de Santa Teresa (Amast), Álvaro Braga.
— O objetivo sempre foi encontrarmos um uso socialmente justo e viável para o prédio. Quando li sobre o projeto do Rafael, me empolguei. Ele foi muito receptivo e esteve aqui no Rio para conversar com moradores e visitar o edifício, que, segundo o Rafael, tem uma boa situação de insolação — explica Braga.
Segundo Grinberg, o desejo de adaptar o conceito da fazenda vertical — que trabalha sobre a ideia de hidroponia — para a realidade brasi$surgiu da preocupação com a alimentação das próximas gerações, tendo em vista as mudanças climáticas e o aquecimento global:
— O edifício do hospital tem apenas seis mil metros quadrados (contra os 280 mil metros quadrados propostos no conceito original), mas, empregando tecnologias atuais, conseguimos organizar a fazenda para abrigar hortaliças e até animais de pequeno porte, como frangos e porcos. O lugar também se mostra ideal para o desenvolvimento de estudos e novas técnicas de agricultura indoor.
Atualmente, não existem ofertas de financiamento — mas a ideia de sediar a primeira fazenda vertical do mundo é o suficiente para o andamento do projeto.
Agricultura Urbana em Portland
Uma jovem arquiteta criou empresa para incentivar a agricultura urbana em Portland, cidade americana que coleciona exemplos de boas práticas.
Uma Fazenda Urbana Brota no Coração de Shenzhen
Postado por Anouck Barcat
Veja o artigo traduzido em português aqui
An urban farm was recently planted right in the heart of downtown Shenzhen, China as part of the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture.
The installation, called Landgrab City, is a square plot of land that represents a map of the city and visualizes how much food is required to sustain it.
The urban farm was commissioned by the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale and was created by Joseph Grima, Jeffrey Johnson, and José Esparza to help the city’s residents visualize where their food comes from.
The plot, which is subdivided into different crops, is surrounded by a map of one of the city’s dense downtown areas. The plot of land is the same scale as the map and represents the area needed to support 4.5 million people, which is the population of the surrounding area. The cultivated area is subdivided to represent the amount of food consumed from each food group – vegetables, cereals, fruit, pasture for livestock, and more.
The creators are trying to educate the residents about the origin of their food and explain that the area’s food production is not clustered together as it is in the installation. In reality, food production is scattered throughout the country and even beyond its borders.
The creators make the point that food scarcity and volatile prices on the international market are pressing concerns, and because of this, vast swathes of land are being “grabbed” for agricultural purposes, hence the name Landgrab City. Agricultural land, they explain, could play larger roles in future international policy and diplomacy than previously recognized.
Orvalho para irrigação
Vejam só que idéia criativa:
|A empresa israelense Tal-Ya Water Technologies criou um dispositivo que coleta orvalho para irrigar plantas, possibilitando o cultivo em áreas com escassez de água, além de proporcionar benefícios ambientais. Trata-se de uma bandeja feita de um composto plástico que é colocada em volta das plantas. Esse composto não se degrada sob a ação do sol, pois combina plástico reciclável com filtros ultravioletas e um aditivo de pedra calcárea.Outro aditivo, de alumínio, permite a captação do orvalho produzido pela variação da temperatura entre a noite e o dia. Uma variação de 12 graus centígrados, por exemplo, leva à formação de uma razoável quantidade de orvalho em ambas as superfícies da bandeja, canalizando-o para a planta. “Com esse sistema, os agricultores não precisam mais se preocupar com ervas daninhas, porque as bandejas bloqueiam a luz do sol, impedindo-as de se desenvolverem”, diz Avraham Tamir, presidente da Tal-Ya. “Também usa-se muito menos água, o que traz economia, e menos fertilizantes, o que significa contaminação menor”, completa Tamir.Fonte: Revista Aliança Cultural : http://www.brasilisrael.com.br/tecnologia.htm==================================================|
O “Growing Home” (Casa Cultivante) e o surgimento da Agricultura Urbana em Chicago
Postado por Lourdes Zunino
Graças ao contato do Alain em nossa pagina, visitei o site do IPES-Promoción del Desarrollo Sostenible – “una organización privada que desde 1984 se dedica a la construcción de ciudades sostenibles en América Latina y el Caribe”, sediada em Lima, no Peru. Muito bacana! Tem alguns eixos de pesquisa, além do tema tão importante que é Agricultura Urbana. Foi lá que encontrei o texto abaixo, dentre muitos outros. Recomendo a visita – http://ipes.org/
Sumário do artigo da Revista de Agricultura Urbana nº 18 de jan 2009
Embora o Growing Home tenha começado como um humilde programa de treinamento para promover a empregabilidade e o empreendedorismo social, hoje encontra-se, juntamente com seus parceiros, em posição de tornar-se um catalisador para uma revolução na agricultura por meio da criação de vários programas e projetos relacionados com os vários aspectos da agricultura urbana (múltiplas funções) e empresas relacionadas.
O potencial da agricultura urbana é grande, e a oportunidade de moldar as novas gerações de sistemas de agricultura urbana não pode ser desperdiçada. Organizações como o Growing Home, o Center for Urban Transformation, o Angelic Organic Learning Center, e outros, não apenas nos EUA mas em muitos outros lugares, devem reconhecerAdvocates for Urban e outros, não apenas nos EUA mas em muitos outros lugares, devem reconhecer esse potencial e se transformar em entidades decisivas para o desenvolvimento das novas comunidades urbanas.
Chicago está na vanguarda dessa revolução agrícola. Organizações sem fins lucrativos e produtores urbanos individuais têm, juntos, iniciado uma rede para promover a agricultura urbana chamada Advocates for Urban Agriculture. Essa rede trabalha de perto com a prefeitura da cidade de Chicago, e recebeu uma manifestação de apoio do Prefeito Daley e de vereadores locais, que se comprometeram em não deixar faltar apoio municipal para os seus esforços. Como foi demonstrado em comunidades como Englewood, a agricultura urbana é uma prática que pode proporcionar áreas verdes, novas oportunidades de desenvolvimento econômico e comunitário e opções de re-desenvolvimento para comunidades urbanas em processo de decadência. Isso é especialmente verdadeiro em Chicago, uma cidade que tem cerca de 75.000 áreas vazias, muitas casas com telhados retos, e prédios comerciais abandonados ou sub-utilizados. Muitos dos lotes vazios estão em comunidades ligadas a minorias mais carentes, e oferecem uma chance de desenvolvimento econômico inclusivo integrado com a agricultura urbana. Embora seja estimulante pensar nas novas oportunidades trazidas por organizações e programas como o Growing Home, sua missão original não pode ser esquecida.
O esforço por oferecer oportunidades que criem uma nova geração de pessoas preparadas para trabalhar, produzir e criar novos empreendimentos deve continuar por meio do planejamento de novos e melhores programas de treinamento. O Growing Home e seus parceiros são a ponte para uma nova era de vida urbana e devem manter-se dedicados a ajudar as pessoas a alcançarem o mais alto nível de seu potencial humano.
Vídeos produzidos pela Articulação de Agroecologia do Rio de Janeiro
Sítio da Família Pimenta – http://www.politube.org/show/1674
O Quintal de Dona Leda – http://www.politube.org/show/1673
Agricultura familiar em faixa de dutos – Cooperativa UniVerde – http://www.politube.org/show/1596
Agricultura na cidade – Experiências em quintais da periferia do Rio de Janeiro – http://www.politube.org/show/1531
Juventude Agroecológica – http://www.politube.org/show/2188
Intervivência 2009 – http://www.politube.org/show/2113
Abertura da Oficina de capacitação em sistematização de experiências – http://www.politube.org/show/1811
Êxodo rural – Articulação Serramar de Agroecologia – http://www.politube.org/show/1808
Sítio do Seu Israel – http://www.politube.org/show/1807
Sementes Urbanas – http://www.politube.org/show/1800
Saúde pela Natureza – http://www.politube.org/show/1798
Aparições da Articulação e de suas experiências na mídia:
Reportagem sobre a Família Ferreira – Bom Jeitinho Brasileiro – http://www.politube.org/show/1809
Agricultores aumentam a renda com venda conjunta de produtos orgânicos – http://www.politube.org/show/2013
Reportagem Rede Ecológica – Jornal Futura – http://www.politube.org/show/1856
De quebra, também os vídeos da Bucaneiro Produções
(que documentam as atividades dos movimentos sociais do campo e da cidade no RJ – O vídeo Juventude Agroecológica foi produzido pela Bucaneiro)
Solidariedade campo-cidade – http://www.politube.org/show/1977
Manifesto contras as monoculturas e o deserto verde – http://www.politube.org/show/1956
Primeiro de maio 2009 no RJ – http://www.politube.org/show/1955
Grito dos excluídos 2008 no RJ – http://www.politube.org/show/1954
Mutirão – http://www.politube.org/show/1981
Inauguração da biblioteca na Ocupação Guerreiros do 510 – http://www.politube.org/show/1978
Paredes comestíveis fazem sucesso
Postado por Anouck Barcat
Veja o artigo traduzido em português aqui
Edible Walls Growing Popular
The New York Times reports that some building manufacturing firms are moving into the nascent but growing green wall market. In the case of Barthelmes Manufacturing company, the firm is producing vertical metal panels that can be filled with soil and seeds. Green walls have some of the same benefits of green roofs. “Like green roofs, walls include a thick layer of vegetation on the outside of buildings to provide insulation and reduce heating and electricity costs.” In fact, Time Magazine listed green walls as one of the top 50 inventions of 2009, and cited Patrick Blanc’s 8-story green wall on London’s Athenaeum Hotel as an example (see ASLA’s guide to green infrastructure for more on the benefits of green walls).
Green walls can also be used to produce food in dense urban areas. Using less space, edible walls can “produce fruit, vegetables and herbs.” According to The New York Times, urban farming advocates see edible green wall systems as a way to “lower food costs, increase nutritional quality and cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions by using fewer delivery trucks.”
Larry Lehning, chief executive at Barthelmes, told The New York Times his sales of green products have doubled in the past year, and now account for 15 percent of the company’s revenue. “The traditional metal fabrication industry is shrinking, and green is an emerging area.”
A number of firms are also developing self-contained vertical greenhouses, which often feature hydroponic systems, for producing food. In the developing world, vertical farm sheds featuring hydroponic systems can help create healthier, more high-quality seedlings or animal fodder in rural areas. Other inventors are exploring combined edible wall, solar and aquaculture systems.
Fonte: The Dirt
Projetos de construção de fazendas verticais se multiplicam no exterior
Fonte: Revista Pini – edição de 08.06.09
A ideia das fazendas verticais, proposta por Dickson Despommier, professor de saúde pública na Universidade Colúmbia, em Nova York, já atraiu a atenção de muitos arquitetos nos Estados Unidos e na Europa nos últimos anos. Recentemente, foi a vez do escritório belga Vincent Callebaut Architectures propor o edifício, ainda não aprovado, Dragonfly Vertical Farm, para a cidade de Nova York.
O empreendimento de 132 pavimentos e 600 metros de altura poderia acomodar 28 setores diferentes para a produção de frutas, vegetais, grãos, carne e leite. Basicamente a mesma função do empreendimento canadense Harvest Green Project, elaborado pelo escritório Romses Architects, e que venceu a competição “The 2030 Challenge” (em tradução literal, “O Desafio de 2030), criada para premiar as melhores soluções e projetos que diminuam a emissão de carbono na atmosfera.
Veja mais: Piniweb
Hortas lançam raízes nas cidades
Por Enrique Gili, da IPS
San Diego, EUA, 12/08/2009 – Terrenos baldios e outras áreas abandonadas são transformadas em hortas em cidades dos Estados Unidos, enquanto seus habitantes aprendem o vocabulário próprio da literatura alimentar. Problemas econômicos e temores levaram muitos lares norte-americanos a fazerem estas perguntas básicas: “de onde vem nossa comida?” e “como a pagamos?”. A horta New Roots (Novas Raízes), em San Diego, Estado da Califórnia, é parte de uma experiência nova por parte de ativistas alimentares, que buscam cariar uma agricultura sustentável dentro dos limites da cidade.
Sob a órbita do Comitê Internacional de Resgate, uma organização sem fins lucrativos que trabalha com refugiados em todo o mundo, a comunidade de imigrantes de City Heights iniciou uma horta urbana para os moradores do lugar. Inaugurada em meados de julho, a Horta Comunitária New Roots é um terreno nunca antes cultivado e que ocupa nove hectares municipais. Tem potencial para complementar a alimentação de centenas, ou milhares, de pessoas pobres que vivem na Grande San Diego.
A horta foi inaugurada após quase quatro anos de negociações com agências locais e federais. “Demoramos muito tempo para ter acesso a esta terra”, disse Amy Lint, coordenadora de segurança alimentar do Comitê Internacional de Resgate, falando do esforço para obter as autorizações necessárias. Os fundadores esperam que esse trabalho sirva como exemplo do que se pode fazer em um ambiente urbano. Inclusive pequenas áreas podem ser surpreendentemente produtivas nas mãos de agricultores experientes.
New Roots – Novas Raízes Fazendas Urbanas
Postado por Lourdes Zunino Rosa
Um grupo de pessoas de St. Louis no Missouri, EUA, se uniu em torno de causas “verdes”. Sem fins lucrativos, criaram um sistema de cooperação participativa com fazendeiros, dividindo riscos e benefícios. Seu objetivo é reconectar pessoas e meio ambiente, acreditam que faz mais sentido plantar para a comunidade local do que para mercados distantes, cidades, corporações.
Como na reportagem acima o nome e objetivo são os mesmo (new roots), acredito que suas ações locais já estão se multiplicando. Trabalham com crianças, grupos escolares, para disseminar o prazer de trabalhar na terra e a importancia da alimentação saudável.
Tradução em português: aqui
New Roots Urban Farm is an anti-profit collective. We’ve come together because we share a vision for human sustainability. We believe all communities of people are responsible for creating and maintaining their basic needs using methods that are sustainable and responsible to the members of their community and environment. We believe all communities can empower themselves and their environment by actively participating in the production and management of their most basic needs. On the most local level, we think each block or each neighborhood should have a localized food system that they create to meet their community food needs. We cannot rely on distant farms in distant countries and markets to feed us, let alone nourish us. We must take responsibility for ourselves and our communities. We are here as a fledgling experiment and model for what urban communities can accomplish for themselves.
We straddle the geographic border of two neighborhoods in north city st. louis where we maintain and nurture two farm sites, two green houses with an outdoor kitchen, several fruit trees, chickens, a few community houses, and each other.
On less than ½ an acre, we feed on average 75 people per week during the growing season. Our main farm site serves as a meeting ground for people, ideas, growing methods, and innovative approaches to agriculture and responsible human lifestyles.
Visite o site: http://www.newrootsurbanfarm.org/
A agricultura urbana em Havana
Postado por Daniela Kussama
Por Sinan Koont, ensina economia e é coordenador de Estudos Latino-Americanos no Dickinson College, em Carlisle, na Pensilvânia. Passou recentemente um semestre sabático em Cuba a estudar agricultura urbana.
Durante os últimos quinze anos, Cuba desenvolveu um dos exemplos mais bem-sucedidos de agricultura urbana no mundo. Havana, a capital de Cuba, com uma população de mais de dois milhões de pessoas, tem protagonizado um papel proeminente, se não dominante, na evolução e na revolução deste tipo de agricultura.
A expressão “agricultura urbana em Cuba” tem um significado algo diferente, simultaneamente mais e menos restritivo do que pode parecer à primeira vista. É mais inclusiva, visto que ocupa extensões mais amplas, franjas urbanas e terrenos suburbanos. Por exemplo, toda a área cultivada da província Cidade de Havana está ocupada com agricultura urbana. A definição inclui terreno que é muito mais rural que urbano – alguns dos municípios da cidade nas partes este e sudoeste têm densidades populacionais relativamente baixas, cerca de 2300 a 3500 pessoas por milha quadrada [1 milha quadrada=2,59 quilómetros quadrados. N.T. ], contra 50 000 a 100 000 pessoas por milha quadrada nas partes mais densamente povoadas. Como resultado, mais de 35 000 hectares (mais de 87 000 acres) de terra estão a ser utilizados com agricultura urbana em Havana! O desenvolvimento sério da agricultura urbana em Cuba começou em simultâneo com o desaparecimento de petroquímicos, como fertilizantes e pesticidas, dos mercados cubanos.
Consequentemente, a produção urbana utiliza apenas fertilizantes biológicos e técnicas de controlo de pragas biológicas e culturais. As quantidades limitadas de petroquímicos disponíveis são empregues numas poucas culturas não-urbanas como o açúcar, as batatas e o tabaco. Em Cuba, a distinção entre orgânico e urbano é difícil de fazer, visto que quase toda a agricultura urbana segue práticas orgânicas.
Leia o artigo completo: aqui
Agricultura vertical em arranha-céus
Postado por Daniela Kussama
O chamado “arranha-céu agricultável” remete a construção verde, literalmente falando. Funciona como uma fazenda vertical, ideal para áreas urbanas aonde não resta mais espaço para a agricultura, apenas o céu é o limite.
O conceito das “torres vivas” foi criado pelo Presidente do distrito de Manhattan, Scott M. Stringer. O arquiteto francês, Dickson Despommier, se encantou com esta idéia, e atualmente está trabalhando junto ao presidente, no desenvolvimento de um projeto do mesmo potencial.
Como uma sociedade criativa, nós estamos finalmente alcançando a habilidade de criar tudo o que sonhamos. E por que não isso? É possível, necessário e ecológico.
Produção local, ausência de pesticidas e de caminhões de entrega, e enfim, um lugar para destinar os compostos da comunidade.
Fonte: Blog AmbienteBrasil
Xi’an World Horticultural Expo
Postado por Pierre-André Martin
Plasmastudio e Groundlabganharam recentemente a competição para desenvolver a arquitetura e o paisagismo da Horticultural Expo em Xi’an, China. O projeto compreende um hall de exposições e um parque de 37 Ha em volta de um lago artificial.
Visto em AALU Landscape Urbanism.
Para mais informações, clique aqui.
Entrevista com Dickson Despommier, Professor, Columbia University
Postado por Pierre-André Martin
|Image credit: Columbia
Are there vertical farms in practice now, or are they all in the concept / design phase?
No, there are no vertical farms in existence as we speak. This is now April 2009, but what there are lots of are high-tech greenhouses where massive amounts of produce are being raised. The best one I can think of is called Eurofresh. It’s in the middle of the Arizona desert and it’s 318 acres’ worth of indoor farming in a place, which ecologically speaking you, could never farm. And the advantage of course is that you can control everything inside, so you can control the humidity and you can control the temperature, and as a result you can grow virtually anything you want.
In Deep Economy, Bill McKibben wrote about the need to rebuild local farming which will help cut down food transportation costs and inefficient uses of water and energy. In particular, McKibben highlights how organic farmers markets can bring healthy food to local areas while also rebuilding local communities damaged by big container stores and lower community engagement due to TV watching, etc. How can vertical farming support local communities? How can they be integrated with existing farmers’ markets?
Well, I think farmers’ markets are a step in the right direction but the one thing they don’t address, of course, is seasonality, so, if you think about farmers markets and green markets in the wintertime, what are you going to do? And if it’s not harvest time, then you’re stuck and if you want to grow it locally that’s fine, but if you live in let’s say Portland, Maine, you’ve got a very short growing season and you’ve still got a lot of people that live in Portland, Maine. Minneapolis is another place that has great need for this but very little possibilities. So, I think if you could take a green area that’s set aside for organic farming and enclose it so you can get year-around farming then you would solve part of the problem.
The second part of the problem is the amount of produce that you can supply. Green markets are great for those that take advantage of them, but if you take a city like New York where you have eight million people or even Washington, D.C., some two million people, I think the green markets don’t go very far. What you have to do is expand the concept to integrate farming into the city proper, and I think that’s where vertical farming, even if it’s only two or three stories tall, allows that possibility. And in addition you can connect these ideas up with schools, hospitals or with rooftops of apartment houses or restaurants and you could now diversify your food supply. You can make it year-around. You can still grow these produces in ways which allows for complete control of the plant diets — even organic farmers can’t do that because they’re still using soil.
Agreed that some soils are very, very suitable for farming. However, up to 1976 we used lead in our gasoline, and if you dig a core down into the soil almost of every city you’ll find tons of lead. And if you start farming on those plots of land like say an abandoned apartment house that was torn down and now it’s an empty lot and they say, “Well, nobody’s using it so why don’t we farm it?”, and that’s being done in some places, you run the health risks of including into your plants things that you really don’t want. So, I think that indoor farming hydroponically and aeroponically offers the opportunity of complete and total control over what goes into that plant. And if you can convince the consumer that there’s nothing unwanted in that tomato other than what should be there as a tomato, then I think you’ve got a big advantage over everybody else.
I’ve read about high-efficiency greenhouses designed in the Netherlands and now being built at Thanet Earth in the Isle of Kent, UK. The greenhouses in the UK are climate-controlled and monitored for performance. No soil is used. Plants are raised in troughs containing rock wool, an inert substrate. Are vertical farms just another form of high-efficiency farming?
|Image credit: Icon Magazine|
Yeah, they are. In fact, if you could take the high-tech greenhouse iteration that now exists in the Arizona desert or in places throughout England and the Netherlands and just stack them on top of each other, that’s the concept. Now, tell that to an engineer and they’ll just laugh at you because they realize that there’s a lot of integration of systems that needs to go on here in order to get this to actually work. So you have water use issues. You have waste energy issues. You have then germination issues of where do you get your seeds from; how do you choose your seeds; how do you make sure that you don’t introduce plant diseases indoors?
Because an epidemic indoors is the same as an epidemic outdoors, the difference being, of course, outdoors your crop is destroyed and you have to wait until next year to plant again. Indoors, your crop is destroyed and you can do it the next day. You can go back the next day and start again. So, even there, there’s an advantage and you’re not going to avoid these issues, but they are much easier handled when you can control everything. So, the idea is yes, they are just simple, high-tech greenhouses that are now stacked on top of each other.
Water is consumed in vast quantities by large-scale industrial farms in the Midwest and western states. This model is now going overseas. How do you combat inefficiencies in water / land use for farming? Why would vertical farms necessarily be more water efficient if developed at mass-scale? How would water gains be quantified?
There are two things going on in a vertical farm or even in a high-tech greenhouse that are applicable to the water use issues. On a global scale 70 percent of the available liquid fresh water on the planet is used for irrigation. And once the irrigation is complete and the water the plants don’t take up is then thrown away, it’s contaminated with all those agri-chemicals that are necessary in order to make the plants grow in places where monocultures never existed. Remember farming is not a normal procedure in terms of ecological behavior. 15,000 years ago there weren’t farms. Today, there are farms. What was there 15,000 years ago? Hardwood forest, wetlands, grasslands, and today, we have replaced all of that of course. Now, we have to force the soil of those places to do the things that we want. In order to do that, we have to fertilize and we have to keep out the predators and the competitors, and that’s what herbicides and pesticides are all about.
|Image credit: Icon magazine|
Now, agricultural runoff is the world’s largest source of pollution and that happens after the irrigated water is spread all over the fields. The plants take what they need and the rest of it is called run-off. Run-off has spoiled the world’s estuaries. As the result, the United States has to import 80 percent of its seafood from other places because all of our estuaries are contaminated. To get back to the water issue though, hydroponic farming indoors uses 70 percent less water than outdoor irrigation, and another technology called aeroponics, which is a take-off on hydroponics in which the roots are actually sprayed with a thin film of water, uses approximately 70 percent less water than hydroponic farming. So, if we were to choose hydroponic farming for most of our crops, we could save a tremendous amount of fresh water. The other side to the coin, which is also good, is that because you’re doing this indoors you can capture the water of evapotranspiration, which is what the plant puts into the air after it takes the nutrients out of the solution that it takes up by its roots. It’s an open system in which water is taken up through the stems into the leaves and then out into the atmosphere. When you see these big thunderstorms over Iowa, all that water was put into the atmosphere by corn because they irrigated the corn and the leaves of the corn plants put that into the atmosphere.
Now, if you’re inside you can de-humidify the atmosphere and recapture that water. You could take gray water- you could have one of the buildings set aside to re-mediate gray water, and in that building, you’re not going to eat those plants. You’re going to use their ability to transevaporate, take gray water, which is black water that is municipal sludge and urine and feces. You’re going to de-sludge it, use the gray water in that building, and let the plants transevaporate the water, collect it and re-drink the water. That’s a living machine. Now you’re connecting up the dots and you’re saying, “Instead of behaving linearly in which I have a beginning, a middle and an end with waste, I’m going to behave in an ecological circle where there is no beginning and there is no end.” The water just keeps re-circulating through this farm and the only thing that comes out is produce. You replace that much water with a little bit more water, but you don’t have the water problems that you do now with traditional farming. So, hydroponic farming indoors in countries that are challenged for water, and I can name many of them, but you can think of all the Middle East, for instance, and many parts of Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, is drought-stricken always. You put these farms in those areas and you will revitalize those areas.
How can efficient use of water in farming become widespread worldwide? What kind of indigenous farming practices in countries like India, China, Viet Nam, all major rice or bread producers, can be highlighted as best practices? Do you think widespread efficiencies will only arise once the realities of climate change take effect?
Well, the best motivator is to react against an impending doom. I’m afraid that’s the way they always work and so crisis intervention is what human beings do best. We create the crisis of course, and then we find a way around it, or a way out of it. The climate change issue right now is not the fact that the climate is changing. It’s that it’s changing so rapidly, and the rapidity of the climate change is our fault. We do this by putting greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Termites do this, too, but if you ever think of how much greenhouse gas is put into the atmosphere just by cattle–it’s not just CO2 by the way. It’s methane and they breathe out a huge amount of methane. It’s a more efficient greenhouse gas than CO2, by the way.
What would a rural society like Viet Nam do with a concept such as indoor farming? In fact, I was in Viet Nam two years ago and I saw a lot of greenhouses in Viet Nam. It’s how they germinate their plants. They take the germinated plant and then they move it outside. It’s not a big step to imagine that if they just kept it indoors and built up from there. These are very adaptable societies: China, Japan, southeast Asia. These people are incredibly industrious and incredibly clever and we give them so little credit for having survived so long with such rich cultures. Go to a green market sometime and take a look at what they grow. It’s amazing. It puts our green markets to shame. They’ve got about 400 different things there and we’ve got about ten and we think this is good, and their diets are so varied. It’s quite amazing actually. So, to introduce vertical farming to a place like India, for instance, which I spent a month in last December and January. All I heard was the acceptance of this concept because–Why? Because their monsoons are failing. They are up against the wall right now. For the first time in their history they had to import wheat. Where did they get it from do you think? Australia. I think this will be the next year and the second time in their history India will import wheat. They reached a tipping point. And then plant diseases play a big role in this as well, wheat diseases in India and throughout the Middle East, wheat rust, for instance. It’s a terrible, terrible problem. It’s a fungus. You can keep this fungus out of an indoor farm pretty easy, but it’s very difficult to keep it out of the air.
You mentioned the potential use of vertical farms in developing countries. Would the cost of designing and creating the building make sense given the low cost of farm labor and the continued importance of small-scale farming to rural employment? How would you convince policy makers in developing countries to support high-efficiency greenhouses or vertical farming?
When farming is succeeding in a country, I wouldn’t pick those countries, but I would pick countries like Niger, Chad, Mali, Malawi, and other African countries where farming is failing. In fact, farming fails routinely in these places and you get mass starvation and there’s no need for that. There’s absolutely no need for it, so my take on wealth and the distribution of wealth is that the G8 or the G20 should pool their resources, and it’s not going to take too much resources in this case. A couple of billion dollars here and a couple of billion dollars there isn’t going to be skin off their nose, and for about a billion dollars you could jump start this project in about 20 different places as a prototype research facility. And the prototype research facility would then invent vertical farming for the region, and we’ve got some feelers out already from some places in case you’re interested.
Jordan is one of those places. USAID, OPIC, and IFC have already been in touch with us and, in fact, the international branch of the USDA is also very interested in going to Jordan, because it’s a friendly Arab country and it’s got only five million people. They all live along the Jordan River. They spend 30 percent of their aquatic resources to make 3 percent of their GNP by exporting food. Now, if you look at their imports on the other hand, they import 80 percent of what they eat, but they still export food because they’ve got trade agreements to live up to so it doesn’t make any sense at all. I’m not really very savvy with regards to these kinds of arrangements, but I know if they had a vertical farm research program ongoing at the University of Oman which was cosponsored by USAID and the USDA in which a team of experts were to partner up with a selected team– And I would have some control in partnering up with, because I know some people already who want to be involved in this, and they include such large engineering companies as Arup, Foster and Partners, FXFOWLE, and Grimshaw. These are companies that have a deep interest in getting involved in this movement, because they see it as a movement. They see this as the future of farming, basically, because when climate change does take hold in places where marginal farming exists now there will be no farming in another 20 to 40 years from now. Now, what are those people going to do? I know if no alternative exists, they will migrate to some place where farming does exist. That’s not their country. That’s called invasion, as far as I can see. That’s not going to hold up very well I think. So we want to stave this off. We want to prevent that. We want to enable. What I don’t want to do is be the provider of food. I want to be the provider of how to grow your food.
What role do you see for the design professions (landscape architects, architects, urban planners) in creating these vertical farms?
|Image credit: Weber Thompson / Verticalfarm.com|
Just go to our web site Verticalfarm.com and look under the design section. What you have to realize is that none of those designs were actually solicited by us. These designs were submitted by people once they heard about the idea. They dropped what they were doing and created an image, which in their mind represents the way a vertical farm should look. Now, there is one called Eco-Laboratory by Weber Thompson. I don’t want to get too specific, but I think I have to mention them because they are the only ones that actually called me up and said, “We’re thinking of designing a vertical farm. What do you think it should look like?” And I said, “Well, what I think it should look like is a prototype and it should be a research facility, certainly an applied research facility in which the scientists and technicians live together in an apartment complex adjacent to maybe a five-to-ten story building, which has all of the fittings necessary to try out whatever crops you’re interested in growing.
For systems integration, there is a group at MIT headed by Herbert Einstein. He’s a civil engineer and he’s got a team of his civil engineering graduate students working on this now, looking at ways of making sure that the water and the nutrient delivery systems and the plant monitoring systems, the planting, monitoring and harvesting of the crop, itself, are all integrated into a computer-generated series of controls. You could sit in an isolated room and monitor the way this whole thing is going. And it could be quite fantastic actually. It would be like looking at the way a nuclear power plant is managed but in this case there wouldn’t be all these dangers of failure that you have imagined.
The management of water and waste are the big issues here and of course energy considerations are paramount, so design elements are necessary to take advantage of local passive energy sources, meaning, of course, geothermal would be my first choice, because that’s something that everybody could gain access to simply by drilling into the ground, but it’s expensive. If you have a lot of wind power, for instance, if you located these on the East Coast like they have in Washington, D.C., just outside the city limits, that would be an ideal setting. You’ve got the Potomac River and, at this point, it’s tidal, so you’ve got water moving in both directions six hours a day, every six hours during the day and night. You could hook that up to a tidal power capturing system so that you could get part of your energy from tidal power, part from wind and part from solar, and then finally you could get a lot of it from the waste that’s created by the harvest. Take a corn plant, for instance. You’ve got the roots, the stems, the leaves, the cob, the stalks. You don’t eat any of that. You eat the kernels and that’s all. That’s about 5 percent of the weight of the whole plant. What do you do with the rest? Well, I think you should plasma-gasify it. It’s a technology which you may be familiar with, which actually vaporizes things back into their elements, and there are municipalities that are using that as a way of handling their solid waste management strategies.
Imagine a five-inch-diameter electrode and, then, now imagine two of them that are sort of angled into the middle of a chamber and a spark comes out, a permanent spark, and where it meets in the middle, it creates a plasma. If you measure the temperature of that plasma, it’s hotter than the surface of the sun. Now, directing a spray of let’s say, this table, for instance, or this rug, or your sweater, or that tomato that is rotting, or the stalks of a corn plant, if you were to particlize any of these up into small pieces, very small pieces now, microscopic, you can do this easily by dehydrating it and throwing it into a milling machine. You can make a fine powder. Then you make a slurry from the powder and you drive it right into the middle of this plasma and on the other side all you get is the elements and energy. The energy is used for two purposes. One is to run a machine. The other is to run anything else you want. It’s about a 50 percent efficient system. Plasma gasification I like because it’s a relatively new incineration technique that’s absolutely clean. When I say absolutely clean, it’s as clean as it gets to this point. There are still some caveats that they’re working on but Port St. Lucie in Florida is already using it. The entire campus at MIT is using it so that’s a very good endorsement for the technology. Steven Chu, U.S. Energy Secretary, actually likes it, also, so I think that he would be much in favor of seeing plasma gasification technologies developed, expanded, used and integrated into waste management strategies.
So, I think vertical farms could survive on their own without being part of the grid if they were to use strategies like that. Remember you get all your water back so there are huge advantages. You get your water, you get your food, you get your energy, and there’s no storage, there’s no shipping, there’s no spoilage. There is none of these things. In fact, it’s all vine-ripened. You don’t have to pick it until you’re ready to eat it. If it’s not sold within six hours, it goes into the plasma gasification device. What could be simpler? The closer your food gets to your plate, the simpler life gets so let’s simplify. Simplifying is best so who’s going to help us simplify? I think landscape architects, outdoor architects.
|Image credit: Official web site of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games|
There is a project in England called the Eden Project. It’s got three superdome-sized geodesic domes that are surrounding a bunch of tropical plants which are kept there in order to create a safe haven for these plants, so that when their own environment recovers from whatever damage they’re suffering from now, these plants can be reintroduced into those places. Now that’s why it’s called Eden. The entire structure is made out of ETFE, which is ethylene tetrafluoroethylene. It’s a plastic film that’s 1 percent the weight of glass. It’s almost bullet proof, not quite. You can use layers of it and create insulation. You can make huge panels of this and it’s as transparent as water so it lets in more light than glass. It does not create a greenhouse effect and it’s a miracle material, and if you go to the Google Images and just type out ETFE you will see the swimming venue at the Beijing Olympics. That’s made out of that material and it’s built to last. This stuff doesn’t go away, so I choose that as my starting building material. How you want to design it and how you want to make this work is up to the designers and architects.
Now, you can design mesh units for situations that require immediate intervention for food issues, like Darfur, for instance. For a natural disaster where you’ve had an earthquake, you can set up a lettuce farm instantly and, in six weeks, you could be producing lettuce and, in a month, you could be producing spinach and all kinds of other energy-rich foods that have lots of vitamins and minerals. You could be feeding people, in other words, within months after the disaster, and, in a year’s time, you can certainly recover all of their nutrition based on these mobile vertical farms that could be set up any place, and you can use all of their wastes to recover water and energy. Now, you have no need for worrying about the spreading of diseases that are linked to contaminated water and this sort of thing and their food is safe. I think it offers a bright future for lots of different strategies.
Dickson D. Despommier, Ph.D, is Professor of Public Health in Environmental Sciences, and Micro-biology, at the School of Public Health, Columbia University. Professor Despommier is well-known for his work on parasitic diseases, and his recent conceptual work on Vertical Farming. He runs the site Verticalfarm.com