Tuesday, May 26, 2009

LONDON : THE NEXT BIGEST FARM IN THE WORLD ?


Et si, en 2070, en arrivant à
Londres en avion, c'était comme cela que vous découvriez la capitale anglaise ?

C'est une des hypothèses de travail faites en tout cas dans la cadre de la très stimulante exposition
London Yields: Urban Agriculture organisée au Building Center.

L'idée de base de l'expo est toute simple : "
Britain needs to seriously invest in agriculture infrastructure if we are to avoid food crisis. This exhibition demonstrates how food production can be incorporated into the urban environment at both an industrial and domestic level."


De façon plus précise l'enjeu est expliqué comme suit "
Cities are the most likely to feel the effects of any food shortages. In 2000 consultants Best Foot Forward estimated that Londoners consumed 6.9 million tonnes of food per year, of which 81% came from outside the UK. With a weakening pound importing food has become increasingly expensive. The transformation of cities from consumers of food to generators of agricultural products not only increases food security but contributes to sustainability, improved health and poverty alleviation."

Dans ce cadre, l'exposition présente différentes évolutions possibles de cette agriculture urbaine dans la métropole londonienne.

L'une des idées les plus intéressante est celle développée par
Ian Douglas-Jones avec son projet Towards New Capital. L'une des plus intéressante à la fois par le contexte politique de départ et par les réponses imaginées.

- Le contexte le voilà :

"
The old banks are fucked, the old capitalism has collapsed, the climate is in a mess, there are no jobs, there is no pay, the certainties of community is a big fraud, thirty years of market driven morality is revealed as a mirage"

- Le constat sur la situation actuelle le voilà :

"
81% of the food we consume is imported. 1/3 of all the food we buy is thrown away. Londons sustaining footprint is 125 times its physical footprint.

We are not substainible

Utopia does not exist

This is not a masterplan
"

Cela a au moins le mérite de la clarté et pourrait s'appliquer à toutes les grandes métropoles mondiales.

- L'ambition est celle là :

"
We need to respond to this current era of economic, social and climatic uncertainty. Notions of production and consumption must be realigned. Investment must shift, new capital must be sought.

To gauge this realignment, a new meridian scribes the earth, a new point of reference, at 51°29'43.23"N ,0° 0'59.93"W, the new line of measurement is not of time, but of quality and essence, of wealth of community and sustainability.

T.N.C. reacts to bolster our confidence in the future. At once blatant and stealthy, a tactic is deployed city wide, appropriating now defunct acres of retail space, and the cities untapped resource of it rooftops, for food production and distribution. In essence a branding strategy for re-localization of or most basic production requirement: food.

At a community scale, the city as villages concept is rekindled with a new exemplary village: The
Isle of Dogs is appropriated, and encircled by a green ring of land reclaimed from the Thames, A grand gesture that enables the provision of food and energy for the new exemplary community within, at its heart; the embodiment of social and environmental capital. A renewed sense of civitas is manifest in new enviro-social forum. At once global and local, it is the new bench mark for progress, in a direction towards new capital
."

A noter qu'à lui tout seul, ce jeune architecte anglais pose les questions qu'aucune des dix équipes consultées dans le cadre du Grand Paris n'a osé poser, et montre la platitude des réponses apportées et surtout l'incapacité des soit-disants grands architectes d'avoir une vraie vision prospective.

- La réponse imaginée la voilà :

"
Project to 2070, imports of food dried up forty years ago, our self reliance has nessecitated the development of uber dense enclaves of selfsubsistance, and self sustinace, each enclave provides the optimum population density with the exact ammount of energy and food.

How can we ensure our future without subjugating our culture and our quality of life?

Enclaves reach critical mass of populous to ensure a rich and vibrant urban life, the convivial city epitomised, experienced through its connected plazas, parks and squares, the roofscape provides for food and energy, whilt serving as a playgrounbd for the time rich live/workers.

At what cost? all the desires wants and needs are provided for, resisdence in the enclaves are highly coveted, a new super gated community, played out in full, the ruinous city left behind serves only as a reminder to the failed unsustained urbanism of the 20th century....

An exodus for the 21st century ?
"

- Les illustrations de cette ambition vous les trouverez ci-dessous. Les planches ci-dessous expliquent comment arriver au projet final (illustré au début de ce post).


Pour aller plus loin , voir aussi
et .

Sans doute moins ambitieux sur le plan urbanistique, mais tout aussi stimulant, à noter aussi les propositions de
Soonil Kim avec son projet très technique de King's Vineyard London.


Voilà ses explications "
Inspired by the urban grains especially the railway network from both St. Pancras and King’s Cross Station around the site, the design is a formal continuation of the topography while reinforcing the colonisation of air space by winery branches. The audacious structure, the winery and the vineyard for red wine grapes are connected by a suspended transport network enabling the use of ground space for a public park. With a capacity to produce 10,000 bottles of red wine annually the project re-articulates private and public space blending productive infrastructure with quality areas to Londoners and tourists."


Alors se dirige-t-on dans les années qui viennent à voir des vaches dans les étages ? Peut-être. Voir sur ce sujet le stimulant
Hungry City - How food shape our lives qui revient longuement sur les liens entre alimentation et urbanisme.


Ce qui est certain, en tout cas, c'est que les projets de
farm tower ne cessent de se multiplier (voir , et un très bon article ).

Sur le sujet des nouvelles formes de l'agriculture en ville, voir aussi .