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Urban-Rural exhibition, Shanghai, November 2019 (John Thackara personal slides)



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Exhibition is centrepiece of the Zhangyan Harvests Festival in Shanghai ( 3-23 November). Theme: From oil age to soil age: What comes next after urbanization? Located in a beautiful high-tech agricultural dome, Urban-Rural features a dazzling array of real-world projects
.“We’re in a transition from the oil age to the soil age” says Thackara, “and the projects in Urban-Rural are leading the way”. 

Urban-Rural features apps that enable urban people become part-time farmers; streaming platforms that connect farmers directly to the city; and an algae lab that produces 3d cups out of bioplastics. Zhangyan Harvests is the brainchild of professor Lou Yongqi, head of design and innovation at China’s prestigious Tongji University. “We’ve been innovating new links between city and rural for ten years now” Yongqi explains., ”but Zhangyang Harvests takes this work up to a new level”.

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Urban-Rural exhibition, Shanghai, November 2019 (John Thackara personal slides)

  1. 1. 2019 Zhangyan Harvests Festival
 exhibition curated by @johnthackara
 - personal slide 13.11.2019 -
  2. 2. Purpose:
 preview of the kinds of activities to expect
 on this “learning landscape”
  3. 3. Location: Zhangyan Village 200 years ago and now
  4. 4. Location (next to village):
 Zhangyan Agricultural Research Facility
  5. 5. Our venue: the Dome 
 (inside Zhangyan Agricultural Research Facility)
  6. 6. one week before opening
  7. 7. 24 hours before opening
  8. 8. Opening
  9. 9. Urban-Rural: the content zones
  10. 10. herb-lined entrance
  11. 11. SOILS ZONE
  12. 12. Soils zone: on the table, “smell the beauty of healthy soil”
 Images at the back: “Man’s internet and nature’s internet”
 Wall on left: “ten ways to restore soil”

  13. 13. “Smell the beauty of healthy soil”
  14. 14. “why Soil?” - explained
  15. 15. @simonsublimet
billions of bacteria in a spoonful of healthy soil
  16. 16. Jenny Hill | Unsplashwe are connected
  17. 17. “The health of the soil, and the health of people, are the same story. With that in mind, here are ten ways to restore soils: 1Read ‘From The Soil’
 2 Soil Restoration checklist
 3 Large-scale ecological restoration
 4 Ten elements of ecological agriculture
 5 Ecological Restoration Practice
 6 AgTech
 7 Permaculture
 8 Citizen Science (Sectormentor)
 9 Feed the soil with food waste
 10 Bring nature into the city
  18. 18. Soil Restoration
 Four indicators of healthy soil
 microbial life,
 nutrient density,
 carbon levels Five farming principles
 maintain constant ground cover, 
 increase microbe populations, 
 encourage biological diversity, 
 reduce the use of agricultural chemicals, 
 avoid tillage. 
 Five Citizen Actions
 Reduce Impervious Surfaces
 Plant Rain Gardens
 Restore Wetlands
 Plant Buffer Strips Along Stream Banks
 Restablish Forest Cover
 (Dr Christine Jones)
 Open Source Compost Sensor | KindaSmith (Farm Hack)
  19. 19. 
 37 Monitoring the health of the land with Artificial Intelligence
 (= Video simulation of every farm in China - i.e. this display, but green. Inset = map of High Nature Value farming in Ireland)
 Source: Alibaba/Taobao Rural (via Lou) Ireland leads in High Nature Value Farming - so we posed a challenge to Alibaba: why not re-purpose their real-time online sales dashboard as a way to monitor
 the ecological health of the land, field-by-field.
  20. 20. MAKING ZONE
  21. 21. Atelier Luma: Algae Platform
  22. 22. FEEDING ZONE
  23. 23. farm_2_plate - video live streaming
 Source: Alibaba/Taobao Rural
  24. 24. China's 230 million small-holder farmers are the backbone of the rural economy and the country's food systems. Farmer live-streaming connects them directly with
 urban citizens. Source: Alibaba/Taobao Rural

  25. 25. Microscopic organisms - our ancestors and allies - transform food and extend its usefulness. Fermentation is found throughout human cultures. Hundreds of medical and scientific studies confirm what folklore has always known: Fermented foods help people stay healthy. Many of your favorite foods and drinks are probably fermented. For instance: Bread, Cheese, Wine, Beer, Mead, Cider, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Pickles, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Miso, Tempeh, Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Yogurt, Kefir, Kombucha. Fermentation workshop at Urban-Rural curated by Francesca VAlsecchi

  26. 26. 
 2d images Source: Andrea Paoletti 

  27. 27. Nick Fuentes The back story of Urban-Rural is the transition “from oil age to soil age”. For a few decades, unlimited energy enabled global flows of people and resources. The soil age, in contrast, will be multi-local. Shown here, multi-local geography anticipated by Walter Christaller in 1930
  28. 28. Multi-local is not a retreat into isolation. New forms of global, open-source governance platforms are emerging that enable diverse forms of peer-to-peer collaboration and sharing
  29. 29. the example of Shanghai’s BIOfarm
  31. 31. LIVING ZONE
  32. 32. 
 47 School for Village Hosts: System 
 2D large backdrop image Source: Casa Netural, Italy
  33. 33. Wonder Grottole, Italy
 Andrea PAOLETTI, Creative Director

  34. 34. 
 School for Village Hosts, Italy/China
 Source: D&I student
 Ecological Literacy and Earth Repair 
 Local Economy Blueprint
 Urban-Rural Reconnection
 Place-Based Design 
 Adapting buildings and infra
 Local renewable energy 
 Care and health

  37. 37. Kunshan Organic Farm

  38. 38. Little Donkey Farm, Beijing
  39. 39. Rural Social Innovation Centre CLARA, Portugal
 (Maxim Dedushkov, CEO)
  40. 40. Atelier LUMA, France - Jan Boelen, Creative Director , Maja Hoffman, Founder
  41. 41. Pontio Innovation, Wales | Rural innovation hotspot | Dr Andrew Goodman Founder/Director

  42. 42. “experiments that can help is envision a possible future” Prof Dr Lou Yongqi, Design Harvests Founder