Greening—and feeding—the city with a ‘garden block’

By: Daniel Nairn,

It looks like one of the main take-aways from the Congress for the New Urbanism 18 conference is something being labeled “agrarian urbanism.” Fast Company is calling it the “new new urbanism” and Treehugger has described the notion as the next phase in the evolution of this 30-year old movement. New Urbanism leader Andrés Duany, in particular, has been pushing pretty hard in this direction for the last couple of years.

Briefly, the idea is that walkable neighborhoods could be intentionally structured so that food production is integrated into the physical form and the lifestyle of the inhabitants. In other words, it’s a synthesis between urban and rural.

Instead of embedding hamlets within a rural landscape, the garden block embeds pockets of agriculture within the urban landscape. It is not a stand-alone community but just another gene sequence to be spliced into the DNA of existing inner suburbs and cities.

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