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Title: Suburban subsistence agriculture: an Investigation of a suburban agriculture on the peripheral edge in the Greater Toronto Area
Authors: Vitez, Joshua
Keywords: suburban subsistence agricultural communities;suburban edge;Brooklin, Ontario;Toronto, Ontario;urban development;farmland
Issue Date: 7-Apr-2020
Abstract: The geographical expansion of large populated urban centres raises many environmental preoccupations, among which, the fact that it severely affects the way cities can rely on locally produced food. Suburban development makes cities grow outward from city centres, creating an expanding edge condition. Considered as a global phenomenon, the process of urban sprawl and expropriation generally take over prime agricultural land, thus making it difficult to implement environmentally sustainable conditions for large cities, particularly in regard to food production. Conceiving that agriculture and suburban areas can coexist with one another, this thesis investigates how architecture can contribute to the creation of subsistence agricultural conditions for food production within a suburban context. The suburban edge condition of Toronto, Ontario, offers a great terrain of investigation, and more specifically the town of Brooklin, where a suburban wall seems to move through the land, engulfing productive farms. If we learn how to design for this edge condition, we will, in consequence, develop solutions to the problem of urban growth and the loss of agricultural land. As the increasing demand for land impacts on the natural landscapes, farmland, and its people, a sustainable form of urban development should be considered. First, awareness needs to be raised about the unsustainable rates that agricultural lands are being consumed due to the expansion of cities. When cities take over the lands that fuel and feed them, the consequences are deeply problematic, both to city centres and suburban areas. For this reason, it is urgent to investigate how architecture can contribute to the introduction of subsistence agriculture for food production within larger suburban centres. In order to tackle this complex issue, different scales were addressed, ranging from the region to the scale of an object, trying to develop for each scale a strategy to connect experimental practices of agriculture to the site, its infrastructure and buildings. To create autonomous conditions, suburban farming and permaculture can be part of the urban infrastructure, which will have the potential to stimulate local food production at the domestic, neighbourhood, and city scales. The design of a new suburban edge will introduce a hub dedicated to food production, while relevant forms of housing were investigated as essential components for the suburban development model. Through the connection of these scales, this project probes how the edges of the Greater Toronto Area can become a model for a sustainable suburban subsistence agricultural community.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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