Growing the Network: Cultivating Alternative Food Systems in the Prairie City
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The province of Alberta faces considerable challenges to food security due to urban expansion into agricultural land, loss of landscape identity, and deficits in fruit and vegetable production. While inefficient global transport results in significant loss of agri-food goods, lack of regional transport and support infrastructure creates substantial barriers for small farmers. This thesis aims to support local industry and provide alternatives to wasteful global networks by developing hybrid transport-agricultural systems at a regional, neighbourhood, and building scale. This project uses historical patterns of prairie settlement and ecological urbanist ideals of multi-functional infrastructures and environmental capacities to develop an agrarian approach to urban expansion in the city of Calgary. At the terminus station of a future public transit line, an agricultural-innovation centre is designed for a rapidly emerging community, incorporating growing, innovation, transit, and community in order to cultivate productive and cultural connections to agricultural landscapes within the urban realm.