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Vertical farms the future of cities. First place for Polish students

16 of November '20

Julia Sierpień and Yaroslav Panasevych from the Cracow University of Technology won first place in the 35th edition of the international competition entitled "24h Farmer" organized by Ideas Forward. The task was to design a building that is a vertical urban farm.

Sustainability and environmental concerns are having an impact on modern cities. The new concept of green economy is becoming increasingly popular. The idea of local production to meet the needs of cities and even individual neighborhoods is growing. The ever-present goal is to reduce imports of goods that can be produced locally, promote the local economy and create jobs. With the coronavirus pandemic, our lifestyles have changed, we are more isolated, we have learned to appreciate local products, and the development of remote work has benefited the environment and relieved the burden on cities. But will modern cities be able to adapt to new social and environmental demands at a rapid pace?

Nagrodzony projekt
wertykalnej farmy miejskiej

The project makes use of empty spaces between buildings

© Julia August, Yaroslav Panasevych

vertical urban farm

The competition task was to design a vertical model of a building that could serve as an urban farm. One of the guidelines set by the jury was the versatility of the building - the ability to replicate and build in different spaces of the city, so as to easily supply the surrounding neighborhoods. The building should allow for the cultivation of vegetables, fruits and cattle by local residents.

First place for Polish students

The international jury decided to award first place to the project designed by Julia August and Yaroslav Panasevych from the Cracow University of Technology. As we read in the justification, the work was appreciated for its non-invasive, unobtrusive, perfectly executed and inexpensive solution. The project proposes the idea of a vertical farm as a way to connect people, and thus contribute to improving the quality of life based on a circular economy. Architecturally, the proposal takes up little space and uses empty urban spaces to build farms that also act as vertical gardens between buildings. Its flexibility and adaptability to pre-existing structures makes it not a utopian project, but one that can be easily implemented.

Farmy łączą miasto
i puste przestrzenie

The project proposes the idea of a vertical farm as a way to connect residents

© Julia August, Yaroslav Panasevych

agriculture and social ties

The question posed by the award-winning authors is - Can the city adapt to new social and environmental requirements? The answer is - of course! With their project, the students show how, thanks to farms, the city can meet new challenges and influence social relations.

As the students say:

We live in a rapidly developing and changing world. The number of people in the world has increased, and cities are increasingly dense. Today we are all facing problems and challenges caused by a global pandemic. There are a lot of pictures circulating on the Internet showing the ingenuity of city dwellers. People pass all sorts of produce, plants, vegetables and fruits to each other on ropes stretched between windows. Tables appear on neighbors' balconies to at least spend time together in this way. These events have influenced our design work. In today's city, we want to connect people through agriculture, providing the opportunity to create individual gardens that can develop into a larger structure over time.

pozwalająca na rozbudowę farmy

The area of the farm can be expanded through matal construction and hydraulic system

© Julia August, Yaroslav Panasevych

crops on balconies

Yulia August and Yaroslav Panasevych's project departs from the ideological large-scale vertical farm, instead focusing on a small-scale unit , namely balconies. In this way, residents can enjoy greenery almost without leaving their homes, and have contact with the neighboring balcony. Starting with just a few plants and pets, the authors moved the farm to the balconies. The area, thanks to a repetitive plumbing system on a metal structure, can be increased three or four times as much as needed.

Plansza konkursowa

The adaptation to existing buildings makes the project easy to implement

© Julia August, Yaroslav Panasevych

Two neighbors can combine balconies into a larger structure and grow vegetables together. In some time, they can be joined by others, creating a joint farm. In this way, the city will be replenished with new greenery, intimate and attractive spaces, and residents will make new social connections.

This is not the first award from Krakow students. Julia Sierpień received the SARP Krakow Branch Creative Scholarship named after Professor Bohdan Lisowski earlier this year.
Yaroslav Panasevych
and his team created the Flamingo Observation Center project, for which he received an honorable mention in a competition organized by the Bee Breeders platform.

Staying on the topic of the green economy and modern cities, we invite you to the Open Eyes Economy Summit, where we will discuss architecture and the adaptation of cities to climate change on Wednesday, November 18.

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