The Grow A Lot Greenhouse Program Brings Value To Urban Communities
Designers, experts in water and land use, educational innovators and technical consultants have teamed up for Grow A Lot, a three year Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Commitment to Action project that addresses the challenge of the urban food desert.
Grow A Lot is a design-forward intervention that brings value to communities by activating vacant urban land with hydroponic greenhouses that provide produce to neighborhoods with less access to fresh food.
The Grow A Lot project launches with a prototype for East New York (Brooklyn), which will act as a model for future projects across the U.S. and beyond. This first greenhouse takes advantage of lots slated for housing development that currently lay vacant because of the low unit yield on developing small sites and/or the high costs of brownfield clean-up. Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation’s Verde arm will act as steward and organizer for this landmark prototype, based on NY Sun Works’ Greenhouse Project initiative.
Designed to be assembled quickly, the greenhouses will provide an extended growing season for fresh, hydroponically-grown local produce. The system pairs a semi-custom lenticular, billboard-like facade with a greenhouse structure. Used together, the design is able to address different site configurations in various urban sites. The façade is pulled back from the sidewalk edge to allow for bicycle parking and farm stands.
In addition to supplying fresh food locally, the Grow A Lot project will also bring educational programs to each greenhouse’s community. Each project will incorporate NY Sun Works’ classroom layouts and grade school curriculum, “Discovering Sustainability Science,” allowing the greenhouses to provide hands-on, curated STEM learning experiences to nearby schools, as well as community members, who will receive on-site job training.
Source: Abruzzo Bodziak Architects, LLC.