UA Community Design Center garners two national awards

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 164 views 

The University of Arkansas Community Design Center received two new awards for a food sustainability project that promotes local urban agriculture.

The project dubbed Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario, won a “2015 Great Places Award” from the Environmental Design Research Association. It also received a “2015 Green Good Design Award” from the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and the Chicago Museum of Architecture and Design.

The Community Design Center led an interdisciplinary team at the UA that speculated on what Fayetteville might look like if the city’s growth integrated local urban food production sustainable enough to create self-sufficiency.

Fayetteville’s population of 75,000 is expected to double over the next 20 years. The plan also factored in the high rating for child hunger in the immediate region.

Steve Luoni, director for the Center and UA professor, said the Food City Scenario sought to link urban agriculture back into the city environment, with the prospect of helping Fayetteville achieve greater food security and resiliency.

“Food has been absent in planning and urban design, but that is changing as cities worldwide are trying to build greater resilience. Food City asks what kind of infrastructure would a city have to develop if it cultivated a local food system?” Luoni said.

“The scenario led to the invention of planning tools for reclaiming a missing middle scale of urban agriculture between that of the individual garden and the industrial farm. Food can simultaneously build greater prosperity, social capital and a true sense of place,”
he added.

The Great Places Award program recognizes projects that show concern for human factors in the design of the built environments, as well as commitment to promoting the links between design research and practice. This is the center’s fourth award from the association.

This year’s Green Good Design Award recognized 65 consumer product designs and 25 pieces of architecture and urban planning projects from 24 countries.