Grounds for Change: Activating Vacant Land

Explore / Grow

Use the Grow section to explore innovative methods for planting, growing, farming, harvesting, reforesting, and building productive landscapes. This Category covers subject areas like urban agriculture, community gardening, and urban forestry. Issues addressed include food security, soil science, nutrition, and the socioeconomic importance of safe food production.

How much can one acre yield?  A city rife with vacant lots is a city ripe with potential.

Farmadelphia

Philadelphia, PA

Using neighborhood ownership of urban farms to support local businesses and food security.

Idea
The composted soil is used to construct a new ground.

Horizontal Integration

Philadelphia, PA

A public park and soil farm constructed from Delaware River dredge material.

Idea
Railroad adjacencies and large tracts of vacant land act as large event spaces and take the place of traditional “commons.”

Biodelphia

Philadelphia, PA

Integrating biotechnology and the urban fabric.

Idea
Neighboring buildings provide structural support for a tiered performance space.

Insert Use

Philadelphia, PA

An incremental approach to reclaiming vacant lots.

Idea
Photo by Flickr user ItzaFineDay

landshare

London, AL

Classified ads for growers and landowners in the UK.

Completed
Exterior and interior of an abandoned house on LaClede Avenue, one of many left vacant thanks to Youngstown's housing surplus.

Lots of Green

Youngstown, OH

An ambitious plan to comprehensively repurpose a neighborhood's vacant properties.

Completed
Research continues into the biofuel potentials of sunflowers and other crops grown at ALMONO.

ALMONO Brownfield

Pittsburgh, PA

A former steel manufacture complex fosters experimental models in brownfield remediation and biofuel production.

Completed
Joggers enjoy the many walking paths throughout the Parc.

Parc du Sausset

Paris,

A mixed-use large-scale park influenced by vernacular French landscapes.

Completed
Aerial view of Mill Race Park shows its location in downtown Columbus, Indiana.

Mill Race Park

Columbus, OH

A landscape of large views and spaces, designed to be flooded.

Completed
Grupo Desiño Urbano’s illustrative master plan identifies three main landscape zones, a mix of geometric shapes and curvilinear forms.

Xochimilco Ecological Park

Mexico City,

A large-scale ecological restoration and productive landscape inspired by Xochimilco's landscape history.

Completed
Eco Boulevard combines elements of urban forestry—saplings in the foreground—and a temporary, wind-powered community center to help revitalize this large urban thoroughfare.  (Emilio P. Doiztua & Roland Halbe)

Eco Boulevard

Madrid,

A temporary climate control structure and urban plaza in Madrid.

Completed
Eastwick Alleywalk proposes to rehabilitate a vacant parcel in Southwest Philadelphia as a major point of intersection in a new, enhanced network of bicycle-friendly streets.

Eastwick Alleywalk

Philadelphia, PA

Creating corridors and connecting parks and the city.

Idea
Photo by Flickr user davidgljay

Green Guerillas

New York, NY

Community gardening and activism in New York City

Completed
Photo from The-Food-Project on Flickr

The Food Project

Boston, MA

Boston-area youth education programs in urban, suburban, and rural agriculture.

Completed
Photo by Flickr user ItzaFineDay

Urban Farming

Southfield, MI

Grassroots urban agriculture organization in Detroit.

Completed
Added Value is a non-profit organization promoting the sustainable development of Red Hook by nurturing a new generation of young leaders.

Added Value

Brooklyn, NY

An organization to promote the sustainable development of Red Hook by nurturing a new generation of young leaders

Completed
Photo by Flickr user Kelowna09

Yes In My Backyard

Toronto, AL

A new landshare program for urban farmers in Toronto.

Completed
Flickr: ericrichardson

Not A Cornfield

Los Angeles, CA

Landscape and memory: an agricultural monument in Los Angeles

Completed
Growing Power's water catchment system.

Growing Power

Milwaukee, WI

A Milwaukee-based nonprofit offering training, demonstration, outreach, and technical assistance in urban agriculture.

Completed
Row houses and hoop houses coexist peacefully at Greensgrow’s Kensington location.

Greensgrow Farms

Philadelphia, PA

A nursery, farm market, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in Philadelphia, PA

Completed
A student team composed of Kiki Brown, Mary Huynh, and Carson Sio designed a vertical planting unit for homegrown produce.

Farm Philly

Philadelphia, PA

Student designs: new techniques for urban farming

Completed
Vacant lots before composting, and after they have been reforested and farmed.

Compost City

Philadelphia, PA

Re-using biosolids to rehabilitate Philadelphia's urban landscape

Idea
Hydroponic greenhouses include systems for cleaning waste water and re-using grey water for agricultural production.

Green for Green

Philadelphia, PA

Small-scale, low-cost solutions to stormwater management and soil degradation.

Idea
Dense planting in a suburban backyard, the result of a permablitz.

Permablitz Melbourne

Melbourne,

Making the Australian suburbs edible, one permaculture blitz at a time.

Completed
China Creek Community Garden in Vancouver

Farm Folk/City Folk

Vancouver,

Nonprofit society to cultivate a local, sustainable food system in British Columbia

Completed
by Flickr user pwbaker

Weaver's Way Co-op

Philadelphia, PA

A model farm and co-op in Philadelphia, with diverse yet integrated operations.

Completed
The Produce Garden will sit side-by-side with a recreation field and basketball court.

Timescapes

Philadelphia, PA

Taking back the backyard

Idea