The University of Arkansas Community Design Center received two new awards for a project that seeks to build food sustainability by promoting local urban agriculture.

The project, Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario, won a 2015 Great Places Award in the Planning Category from the Environmental Design Research Association.

It also received a 2015 Green Good Design Award from The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.

The Community Design Center led an interdisciplinary team at the University of Arkansas for Food City Scenario, which speculates on what Fayetteville might look like if the city’s growth integrated local urban food production sustainable enough to create self-sufficiency. Fayetteville’s population of 75,000 is expected to double over the next 20 years. In addition, although the region is the most prosperous in the state, it also has one of the state’s highest child hunger rates.

Food City Scenario is an urban agricultural project that aims to weave agricultural urbanism back into the city environment, with the prospect of helping Fayetteville achieve greater food security and resiliency, said Steve Luoni, director of the Community Design Center and a Distinguished Professor.

“Food has been absent in planning and urban design, but that is changing as cities worldwide are trying to build greater resilience. Food City asks what kind of infrastructure would a city have to develop if it cultivated a local food system?” Luoni said. “The scenario led to the invention of planning tools for reclaiming a missing middle scale of urban agriculture between that of the individual garden and the industrial farm. Award programs are intrigued by the notion of food as a pressing topic that cuts across fundamental social, economic, political and ecological relationships. Food can simultaneously build greater prosperity, social capital and a true sense of place.”

This collaborative project involved the Fay Jones School of Architecture, the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, the School of Law and its master of laws program in agricultural and food law, and the Department of Food Science, as well as the city of Fayetteville. Preparation of Food City Scenario was sponsored in part by a grant from the Clinton Global Initiative and the American Institute of Architects under its Decade of Design initiative.

The Food City Scenario project previously received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Progressive Architecture Awards program, as well as an Award of Merit in the category for Planning Tool or Process in the 2014 Charter Awards program from the Congress for the New Urbanism.

The Great Places Award program recognizes projects that show concern for human factors in the design of the built environments, as well as commitment to promoting the links between design research and practice. This is the center’s fourth award from the association.

This year’s Green Good Design Award recognized 65 consumer product designs and 25 pieces of architecture and urban planning projects from 24 countries. The European Centre and The Chicago Athenaeum will organize a special exhibition at their museum in Athens, Greece, featuring the winning products, landscapes and buildings. The exhibition also is scheduled to travel, and the winning projects can be found on The Chicago Athenaeum’s website.

In addition, alumni of the Fay Jones School were among the designers for another recipient of a 2015 Green Good Design Award. Modus Studio in Fayetteville was recognized for its project Eco Modern Flats, also in Fayetteville. This project revamped four apartment buildings that were constructed from 1968-72 near the University of Arkansas campus and downtown Fayetteville. The result was modern, urban, green multifamily rental units that saved operations costs through energy and water-saving updates. It became the first multifamily project in Arkansas to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

AuthorLinda Komlos