Urban farming is usually an afterthought: a vacant lot becomes a garden or an existing roof holds a new greenhouse. A new project in Denmark suggests a different approach. What if a dense neighborhood was designed to coexist with full-scale agriculture—and farm waste helped power the buildings?
Agro Food Park, on roughly 250 acres of land outside Aarhus, Denmark, isn’t inside city limits. But when the area—an innovation and research center for the future of food—redesigned its campus, it used a dense, city-like, walkable layout. Because the buildings are surrounded by farm fields, the plant waste and manure from the farms will be part of the new system design.
It’s a model, the designers say, for future development that’s a hybrid of urban design and agriculture.
A new master plan for the area connects farm operations to office space. « Part of the master plan is really to cluster these things so that we can get enough either heat or energy from some of the farm components to power some of the buildings, » says Alastair Reilly, director at William McDonough + Partners, the architecture firm that developed the project with Copenhagen-based 3XN/GXN.
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