Before you bite into the next carrot from out of state, take a look at Carrot City, a preview of concepts that may someday come to an urban garden near you. A project based at Ryerson University, Carrot City seeks to add aesthetic appeal to the grungy task of growing food in urban areas. This site is the fruit of design students’ research on how to integrate agriculture with increasingly crowded cities.
Carrot City is international with a Canadian emphasis. The site’s designers published a book in 2011 and have also produced a YouTube video.
During the next century, our planet will continue to urbanize. In crowded neighborhoods, finding attractive ways to garden can be challenging. Carrot City’s case studies suggest tantalizing alternatives:
- Quebec’s hydroponics-based Rooftop Garden Project
- The train-oriented Syracuse Sustenance System
- A greenhouse placed under a highway in Toronto
- The South Bronx’s Via Verde housing complex
- Troy Gardens, a mixed-income housing complex and farm in Wisconsin
Urban gardens bring a smorgasbord of benefits to their communities. In addition to supporting local economies, improving public health, and reducing the environmental cost of food processing and transportation, gardening may even reduce crime.