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Posts Tagged ‘urban space’

Hong Kong Urban Intensity: Public Lectures

Posted in Events, Research by Kate Archdeacon on September 7th, 2011

Photo by Mike Behnken via flickr CC

The Melbourne School of Design presents a series of free public lectures by Professor Tom Kvan celebrating the book launch of The Making of Hong Kong: From Vertical to Volumetric.

These lectures examine one of the most intense cities in the world. Hong Kong’s irregular coastline and steep terrain has resulted in built-up areas that are compact, rich in spatial experience, all parts close to hills and water and connected by an exceptional public transport system. The lectures will present how the authors see value in these conditions: a metropolis with a small urban footprint, 90 per cent use of public transport for vehicular journeys and proximity to nature which has arisen from a culturally and topographic specific condition.

This fascinating book, with over 200 original illustrations, adds to the current urban debate around high density compact cities and interconnected public transport systems as one means of reducing urban energy use and carbon emissions. The lecture will explore why urban intensity is vital for more than ecological reasons and presents propositions based on these observations.

This lecture and book launch is part of a national tour. A reception will follow each lecture. Please register on the Melbourne School of Design website.

  • Sydney Monday 19 September
  • Adelaide, Tuesday 20 September
  • Perth, Thursday 22 September
  • Brisbane, Friday 23 September
  • Launceston, Friday 30 September

Vertical Farm – Resourcing space

Posted in Models, RDAG by Devin Maeztri on April 20th, 2009

The Vertical Farm project was initiated by lecturer, Dickson Despommier, and his students at Columbia University in New York City.

The Vertical Farm is a concept of a thirty-story urban farm producing fruit, vegetables, and grains with a greenhouse on every floor. Citing factors such as the need for reforestation and the future growth of world’s population, Despommier believes that cities must learn to feed themselves. Depending on the crops being grown, a single vertical farm could allow thousands of farmland acres to be permanently reforested.

Vertical FarmingVertical FarmVertical Farm
With about 160 of these buildings, you could feed all of New York.

The Vertical Farm would use hydroponic methods to feed 50,000 people. By growing crops in a controlled environment there would be minimum risk of disease, weather related disasters, less likelihood of genetically modified “rogue” strains infecting crops, and all food could be grown organically, without minimum waste.

Features of Despommier’s design include solar panels, a wind spire, glass panels, a central control room (allowing for yearround,24-hour crop cultivation), circular design, an evapotranspiration recovery system and pipes (to collect moisture which can then be bottled and sold), a blackwater treatment system, and a pellet power system (to turn nonedible plant matter into fuel).

However, as Despommier concedes, it would cost hundreds of millions to build a full-scale skyscraper farm due to construction and energy costs. For more information visit

This is from “Social Innovations in Victorian Food Systems”, case studies by Ferne Edwards.