Organic city

What if I grow paintings over the walls?

Urban farming may change our concept of art painting, sculpture, and installations. I have just removed all the paintings from my sunny living room. Then I had this idea: why not hang some edible Still Lives on the walls, like cherry tomatoes, potatoes, and rice? For my roof terrace, I will certainly need to grow food plants adapted to the strong North winds that blow all year near the seaside where I live.

The High-Tech Vertical Farmer

Growing Up: How Vertical Farming Works | The B1M

Eat the City
The case for civic agriculture.
PLACES. Richard Ingersoll June 2013


Urban development during the past half-century has eaten away the clear edges of cities, leaving ambiguous empty spaces. While the resulting disorderly appearance betrays the expectations of coherent urban morphology, I have come to realize that one must have compassion for such patchy areas. They are part of the lived experience of at least half of humanity and for this deserve attention as spots of potential quality. The essayist Philip Lopate, who, like myself, spent several years in academic exile in Houston, described that sprawling city as “a smiling face with a lot of teeth missing.” European cities tend not to have the same dental mishaps, at least not in their historic centers, but on the periphery the fabric of streets and buildings starts to fray and begins to look more like suburban Texas, more like the global condition of sprawl. Here infrastructure prevails over buildings, and areas historically reserved for growing food get bullied by new constructions, torn to pieces by fast roads and parking lots, and splintered into useless gaps overgrown with weeds. These leftover spaces — which belong neither to a natural ecosystem nor to a landscape design — fit Gilles Clément’s provocative theory of the “Third Landscape.” ¹ While they may contradict the aesthetic sensibilities of landscape professionals, such untended sites represent for Clément an important evolutionary habitat as a “refuge of biodiversity.”

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