Strategies to enable alternative urban food systems cannot be developed alone by those involved with the production
and distribution aspects of food systems. It is important for architects, landscape designers and planners to be part of
the process of conceiving and implementing innovative food-system thinking. Environmentally focused building standards
and models for sustainable communities can easily incorporate farmers' markets, greenhouses, edible landscapes,
permeable paving, green roofs, community gardens, and permaculture and other food-related strategies that
complement energy generation and conservation, green roofs, living walls, and other approaches that have been
more commonly part of sustainable built-environment initiatives.
Recently, architecture faculty and students at Ryerson University in Toronto and at a number of other universities
have been exploring the intersection of these disciplines and interests. This paper will show how Ryerson tackled agricultural
and food issues as design challenges in projects that included first-year community investigations, student-run
design competitions, third-year studio projects and complex final-year thesis projects. These projects that dealt with
food issues proved to be excellent entry points for addressing a range of design challenges including social inclusion,
cultural context, community design and sustainable building practices.
Keywords : Design Pedagogy, Design Strategies, Productive Landscapes, Urban Agriculture, Urban Food.
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