Some developers are starting to incorporate a new feature into neighborhoods: A food supply. Landscape Architecture magazine reports in its April issue on forward-looking urbanists who are situating working farms next to homes in mixed-use projects.
"Both development and agriculture are broken, and the answer to each is in the other," architect Quint Redmond tells the magazine.
Community gardens are a familiar manifestation of residential-area agriculture, but many of the new designs are incorporating farms that are bigger and intended to meet more of the community's nutritional needs.
In one setup, a neighborhood of small lots adjoins land set aside for conservation and agriculture. The land is owned by a nonprofit or homeowners' association, and the farm management and/or operation is contracted to a professional farmer. Residents can get the produce through a market or by joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. Prairie Crossing near Chicago and Serenbe near Atlanta are two examples of this type of approach.
Other proposed communities are still on the drawing boards and attempting to attract support. One designed by Redmond's firm TSR Group would turn 618 acres of current industrial farmland in Milliken, Colorado, into an "Agriburbia" community using almost half the land for commercial farming. Another 135 of the acres would go to acres to parks and natural habitat, and the rest would host 994 dwellings.