The potato and the papaya
My design proposes the development of an urban agriculture trade network in and around Belfast; its central hub being the vacant site of Blackstaff Square. The aim is to bring together the people of this ‘divided city’ through trade and food; utilising both local Irish ingredients and the exotic produce of other nations represented in the local population. My project takes inspiration from the Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace that houses the works of industry of all nations in 1851.
The main hub building acts as market garden, distribution centre and restaurant. It also includes an educational institute providing a hands-on learning experience for the public. In conjunction with the main hub that grows local ingredients, there will be a series of satellite greenhouses situated on existing flat roofs around the city providing a source of more exotic produce. The aim is education about the importance of sustainable living and locally grown food.
As an aside, the recent decision of the UK population to exit the European Union has contributed to rising cost of imported food. As such, my project acts as a model for urban farming that could potentially be replicated elsewhere.