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Practice : Spring 2012
Mindful of the goals of Mayor Thoma s Menino’s Food Initiative, the tea m aimed at piloting financia lly successf ul models in Ja ma ica Plain a nd Greater Boston. Under the instruction of Abdul Medallah, BAC Director of Assessment a nd Resea rch, Practice Department, the students worked to design urban agricultural models that capitalized on limited resources in several of Boston’s more v ulnerable neighborhoods. Rather than working to design to the specific re-zoned urban farm sites that were created by the Department of Neighborhood Development to develop urba n farming on city owned properties, the te am instead worked closely with DND to design urban a gricultural models that adhered to and c apita lized on available re source s in Boston’s urban conditions. In con sideration of the drop- out rates of high school students, the tea m set out to develop an adult and youth educ ation program within the community to address food production in an urban environment a nd to provide me aningful employment in the local agricultural industry. Due to the dual nature of this project’s scope, the team targeted surrounding secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, local food e stablishments, food distribution c enters a nd community members. Working c losely with neighborhood school s, the project aimed to establish a n e xtensive c urriculum that focused on the importance of local food security, as well as to provide fundamenta l training towards the initiation a nd maintena nc e of urban farm operations. The framework of the Urban Agricultural Model, constructs urban farm networks that target multiple distressed or abandoned properties within a 2 mile radius of an education al institution. The te am’s model su ggest s a flexible struct ure open for public interpretation to grow nutritional food sy stems, develop educ ational and training protoc ols, a nd fina lly adapt and reinvigorate farm s ba sed on available farming techniques. The team: Ma ster of Architect ure students Kate Bickford and Alex Ho, Bachelor of Architecture student Jasmine Wolber, a nd Master of Interior Design student Pei-Chi Liao presented their final Urban Agricultural Models proposal in May of 2010 to DND, and since that time DND tailored three Reque sts for Proposal s to de velop Urba n Farms in South Boston. Urban Agriculture Models Urban Agriculture site After Urban Agriculture Program Axon PRACTICE 31 FEATURE ] GATEWAY INITIATIVE