Urban agriculture has become a well discussed topic. Competitions and student works are producing copious amounts of fascinating work and concepts: vegetated skyscrapers, deserted urban lots retrofitted to crop production and community gardens.
Unfortunately, much of it amounts to nothing but to what a friend likes to call "render porn." Without quantifiable closed looped solutions the urban ag movement will never gain critical mass.
Andrew Maynard Architects, a young Melbourne firm in their Urban Orchard 2 concept have veered away slightly from the purely conceptual and have proposed a more actionable concept inspired by the community markets of Cuba. Cuban Market Gardens first arose as a community response to a lack of food security after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Collectively they are able to produce 90% of its citizens fruits and vegetables without the use of transport, simultaneously creating urban green areas and neighborhood integration.
AMA's proposal calls for the removal of transport, using rooftop garden/orchard production, sold to ground level community markets, and its food waste reused for the production biofuel.
While on paper the idea seems like a novel idea, I still believe property owners, developers, and potential entrepreneurs will need to see actionable and profitable business plans for nobel urban ag projects to take hold, until then, enjoy the render porn.