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  1. 1. 12 I I February 2015 13I I February 2015 HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid launches Mall of the World, a temperature-controlled pedestrian city in Dubai Dr. Anna Grichting Architect-Urbanist, Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qatar University courses and research in Sustainable Urban and Landscape Design are studying the potential of new design strategies and typologies that include the integration of food production within the citiy. This can contribute to the promotion of healthy living through the consumption of organic foods, herbs and natural medecines and more active lifestyles through gardening. By using permaculture approaches to planting , these productive landscapes can also benefit biodiversity and foster cultural integration through gardening communities. Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, environmental design, construction and integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture, regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. One approach is to consider landscape systems and their symbiosis with architecture, to create beneficial relationshipsthatminimise the use of scarce resources. The concept of the “regenerative city” as proposed by Herbert Girardet is one that has circular metabolism – as opposed to the traditional linear one - which imitates nature’s circular metabolism, where the waste generated by one organism serves as a useful resource for others. In a predominantly urban world, cities will need to adopt circular metabolic systems to assure their own viability as well as that of the rural environments and ecosystems on whose viability they ultimately depend. Hanging Gardens of Doha. Integrating Green Infrastructures for increased Food Security, Human Health and Urban Biodiversity. Towards Regenerative Cities in the Gulf Qatar and the rapidly expanding and urbanising countries of the Gulf face many challenges, which include Food Security, Loss of Biodiversity and Increasing Health issues. How can landscape help to create moreliveableandsustainableenvironments in arid countries? Tackling these challenges requires new approaches to design which include developing a deeper understanding of ecological and physical systems in relation to human activity and improving landscape-urban designs for increased resource efficiency. At Qatar University, Dr. Anna Grichting with students Reem and Nussyba and permaculture experts Paige Tantillo in the Edible Hanging Garden at the College of Engineering, Qatar University. Paige Tantillo, Certified Permaculturalist on her roof top Edible Garden in Doha. urbanism A nna Grichting is an architect, urbanist and musician from Switzerland and graduated with a Doctor of Design in Urbanism from Harvard University. She is interested in holistic and systems approaches to Design and to emerging ecological trends in Landscape and Urbanism, Smart Cities, Food Urbanism, Urban Biodiveristy, Border Ecologies and Public Art. Her academic experience includes teaching at the Universities of Geneva and Harvard, developing an Education Initiative for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and teaching the Balkans Peace Parks Academic Expedition Summer Course. She is currently teaching Architecture and Urbanism at Qatar University. As a musician, she has just released a CD with Desert Bridges in Qatar. FutureLandscapes for Food Security and Biodiversity.
  2. 2. 14 I I February 2015 15I I February 2015 urbanism Cities are not made from individual buildings, they are also constructed from the infrastructure and organization of place as well as the communities that inhabit them. The sustainable city calls on us to understand how these city systems work in relationship to the natural environment and relationships to the anticipated community. The emerging field of Landscape Urbanism looks at this new symbiosis and merging of fields to design more integrated ecological systems. As Charles Waldheim suggests, Landscape urbanism begins with the environment, looking to work with the ecological systems of a particular site. Designing Productive Landscapes at Qatar University It is necessary to find new approaches to urban planning and architectural and landscape design in Qatar which integrate food systems and spaces, increasing food security, minimizing resource consumption while maximizing resource efficiency. Qatar University’s Master’s Program in Urban Planning and Design has been looking at the concept of Food Urbanism as an example of Sustainable Systems Design for cities. There are many different project scenarios at very different scales where we can start to bring food production into the city. Compounds can be retrofitted to allow the inhabitants to compost their organic waste, recycle water and grow seasonal vegetables and plant fruit trees. Educational Institutions can build greenhouses to produce food for their canteens and to involve the students in the production. Vertical farming is one way of growing food without soil, using aquaponics, which utilizes very little water and recycles the water. Towers and rooftops can be transformed with productive facades and terraces. The Master’s students at Qatar University elaborated scenarios for different scales and typologies for Productive Landscapes in Qatar, including: Qatar University Edible Campus; Green Retrofitting of West Bay High Rise District; Vertical Farming Towers in Lusail; Al Zuhoor Compound Edible Gardens; The Pearl Community Gardens and Edible Boulevards; Abu Nahkla Reservoir Wildlife, Biodiversity and Organic Food Production; and Offshore Reefs Food Production for a Post Carbon Society. Vertical Greening Integrating Plants into Architecture and Urbanism is not new, but it is gaining a new lease of life as a contribution to urban ecology and liveability as well as improving a buildings resource efficiency. Buildings and Urban Designs that integrate good and efficient green infrastructures can contribute to Carbon Capture and to reducing the Urban Heat Island effect. Other challenges facing Gulf countries, such as Food Insecurity and loss of Biodiversity can be mitigated by new forms of plantings that align with the principles of Permaculture. VerticalorSkyriseFarmingaswellasGreen facades and Hanging Rooftop gardens are ways to integrate vegetation into buildings and to maximise efficient use of resources and recycling of waste. The idea of vertical farm has existed since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and comprises cultivating plant life within skyscrapers or on vertically inclined surfaces or rooftops. In addition to skyrise farming, green walls and green roofs are used as ways to control climate within buildings and capture carbon as well as to mitigate heat island effect. Theverticalgardeningconceptwasappliedby students to retrofitWest Bay high rise districts and commercial zones, including shopping malls, with green facades and rooftop farming, and edible boulevards and public spaces. The proposed solutions included greening the towers façade, regeneration of unused/low occupancy towers, and creating more integrated and sustainable public realm landscape. An Edible Campus and Hanging Gardens at Qatar University One example of a project that is being envisioned by students, researchers and faculty at Qatar University is to design an Edible Campus. The objective of this project is to maximize resource efficiency and to improve the ecosystem and environment. By providing an important source of fresh food for the campus, which includes residential areas as well as educational and research facilities, it is also possible to considerably reduce the Foodprint of the University, that is, the amount of energy that is used to bring the food to the plate on the campus. This project includes both retrofitting and guidelines for new buildings. Students began to identify all the accessible and flat roofs on which Food Producing structures could be implemented. They also outlined the reserves of land that can be used for farming for the years that they are not needed for building. Vegetables, Fruits and Medicinal plants are proposed and these also contribute to designing a Figure 6: Scenarios for Productive Landscapes at City Center Mall and New Doha Convention Center: Green Roofs for Urban Agriculture. Arch. Ahood Al-Maimani. Diagram showing the planting seasons in Qatar by students Reem Awwad, Nussyba Abdelgader and Assma Al Mohannadi Dr. Anna Grichting and students Reem Awaad and Shorook Bassam planning the Juicing Event in the Edible Garden Design by students Reem Awwad, Nussyba Abdelgader and Assma Al Mohannadi for the Hanging Edible Garden at Qatar University Female College of Engineering Phd Student Luzita Ball discussing the species for the rooftop permaculture landscape at the Qatar University Female College of Engineering Hanging Gardens.
  3. 3. 16 I I February 2015 17I I February 2015 World leader in aquatic play solutions with over 6,000 installations worldwide 1.877.586.7839 • We turn your big ideas into unique aquatic play amenities that build strong communities, create amazing guest experiences and keep families coming back for more! JUmeirAH BeAcH Hotel | DUBAi, UAe new landsape plan for the campus. The long view is to be able to reuse the grey water from the buildings to recycle the organice waste from the canteens and the landscape gardening. Apilotprojectiscurrentlybeingimplemented in an edible boulevard and a rooftop garden at the College of Engineering at Qatar University as part of an undergraduate student grant and a PhD research on permaculture. Working with the local gardeners, many of them Nepali and coming from farming communities, the aim is to grow food for the workers, and also to create a landscape that will foster biodiversity by attracting many species of birds, butterflies, insects etc.The plans for the Edible Boulevard were designed by undergraduate students as part of a grant funded by the Qatar National Research Fund. Their work included case studies of food growing in residential buildings – including a permaculture garden - as well as a diagram showing the edible plants and their growing seasons in Qatar. Part of the challenge is not only designing new spaces and structures to accommodate food, but also to communicate to the public that growing food is possible in desert climates. Research being undertaken in collaboration with a doctoral researcher, Luzita Ball, will aim to gather empirical and scientific data about what grows well in Qatar and demonstrate the wide variety of food that can be grown, even with the harsh growing conditions. It will also provide a tangible demonstration of how implementation of Permaculture practices helps to increase and benefit soil structure by use of compost, manure, straw, diversity of plants. and to increase biodiversity by natural pest management practices through beneficial insects. and a mix of vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, that create a symbiotic ecosystem, using the waste water from the residential building, recycling organic waste, as well as raising chickens. This multi-pronged approach, at multiples scales of design and typologies, is necessary to implement effective, lasting and meaningful systems and infrastructures that are integrated and in line with the country’s vision In Qatar - which to date imports 90 percent of the food stuff consumed in the country and has around 1,200 farms of which only 300 are productive - Vertical Farming, Food Urbanism and Permaculture are still emerging concepts. But as designers and planners, we have to look to the future and plan for 10 to 30 years ahead, if not more. The problem of food security, the shortage of water and the loss of biodiversity will certainly shift our ways of designing cities and producing food, and will drive the need for more collaboration between engineers, architects, urbanists, biologists, and many disciplines to work together to this end. Participative and collaborative planning are also necessary to achieve social, ecological and economic sustainability that is meaningful for all society. Figure 1: Diagram of the Concept of City as Circular Metabolism. (Girardet, 2012) Planting the Edible Hanging Gardens at the Qatar University Female College of Engineering. urbanism