Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Free-Range City Thesis

I am proposing to make visible the disjointed ecology of the city by appropriating disused railroads and re-purposing under/over freeway space, thus initiating a new infrastructure of urban agriculture. Free-range city emerges from the desire to collect waste existent on the unaccepted streets (rainwater runoff and organic waste) and convert it into a productive ecological cycle: students live in dorms with chickens over their heads, eating food scraps and producing a whole lot of chicken litter. That litter goes into a compost pile which heats water for the students. Eventually that compost pile is substantial enough to fertilize surrounding warehouse rooftops.

Equilibrium and a closed nutrient loop is not the goal of this micro-ecology. As chickens multiply and more organic waste is delivered, the rooftops fill up with agriculture, thus limiting the surface available for rainwater and therefore the human population capacity goes down. Free-range city moves on, leaving an infrastructure of bridges maintaining connectivity between the rooftops and freeways.

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