Brendan Cormier, Bauhaus-University Weimar
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
The Edible Concourse is a strategy to minimize food deserts and promote urban agriculture in the Bronx employing a raised platform straddling the middle of the concourse and running its length, second-floor galleries and rooftop gardens. All the program necessary to promote sustainable growing and eating habits is contained here.
The goal of the Edible Concourse is to conceive how urban agricultural practices can be implanted into dense urban environments - while tackling the very real issue of access to affordable, healthy and locally grown foods in the Bronx. The project is about simple interventions that can be done piecemeal, but whose sum becomes greater than its parts over time.
An inventory of the necessary food-related program was conceived that could create a self-contained food system. Places for growing, learning about, distributing, preparing, cooking and celebrating food are components of this system.
Three physical elements are designed to house this program.
1. The Edible Strip is a design solution not far removed from New York vernacular - a raised platform that runs the length of the concourse Raised platforms have been a common solution in the city for managing different traffic modes. The Strip follows the trend of the Highline as an imaginative re-use of this typology, this time for productive, learning and leisure practices.
2. Second-floor galleries create a more dynamic streetscape, with shaded areas on the sidewalk, more eyes on the street, and more places to grow food.
3. Rooftop gardens form the apartment-block community gathering point - allowing neighbors to recreate, share ideas and cook and eat together.
In addition larger institutional structures are conceived to strengthen the system. Markets, distribution centers, art parks, cooking houses, and learning centers.