It is a great challenge for city regions that urban territories all over the world “scatter” urban (building) activities into the rural, thereby often absorbing fertile agricultural land. Land that was previously used for food growing, among other things.
At the same time, the resulting “scattered metropolis” – or urban sprawl – provides much desired opportunities for residents and businesses. There are so many of them today, they are so keenly developed, yet can be so unpleasant and unsustainable, that our aim must be to rethink the current separatist notions of city and countryside, of urban and rural design. This is especially true in relation to food – one of the most fundamental needs of our cities, as well as one of the most fundamental products of our countryside. Paradoxically, most initiatives that challenge the loss of city-near agriculture and question contemporary food provision started in the urban. The CPUL design research is an example of this: it studies urban agriculture, the scattering of the rural into the urban.
The lecture will examine issues and interdependencies when it comes to feeding our cities and the role urban and landscape design can play in their future. It will draw on examples from Bohn&Viljoen’s design research practice.
Katrin Bohn is an architect and urban practitioner and a senior lecturer in architecture at the University of Brighton. Between 2010 and 2014, she held a guest professorship at the Technical University in Berlin where she headed the Department City & Nutrition. Together with André Viljoen, she runs Bohn&Viljoen Architects, an architectural practice and environmental consultancy based in London. Katrin has taught, lectured, published and exhibited widely on the design concept of CPUL [Continuous Productive Urban Landscape] which she and Viljoen contributed to the international urban design discourse in 2004. Their projects on productive urban landscapes include consultancy, feasibility studies and design proposals as well as food-growing installations and participatory events for clients in the UK, Germany and other European countries. In 2015, Katrin won the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding University-located Research.
Our lecture this year is very kindly sponsored by Charcon Hard Landscaping