Articulating Ecology: Brownfield Remediation, Urban Agriculture and Prospects for Community Revitalization
2015 has been declared the International Year of Soils by the United Nations. This proclamation emphasizes the soil as a basis for life and culture, its importance for agriculture, and its fragility when threatened by sprawl, industry and contamination. This thesis explores the remediation and temporary reappropriation of urban contaminated sites into a community hub for urban agriculture. A brownfield site in the dynamic and gentrifying neighbourhood on Gottingen St. in Halifax, NS is selected as an incubator for culture and community development. A phased and temporary caravan of architecture derived from phyto- and myco-remediation technologies drives a process that unfolds over 20 years. As the risks posed to human health by contaminated soil dissipates, so too does the architectural performance. A clean site and stronger community networks are the remnants that facilitate the next phase of development as the process begins anew on the next contaminated site.