Posted by: Hourglass PJ8 DEC 2011
As questions about food security increase throughout the world, there has been growing discussion about urban agriculture, in the form of allotments, community vegetable projects, roof top gardens and more futuristic concepts of growing crops in vertical gardens or skyscrapers.
More ambitious than any of these, however, is a Dutch project that will attempt to grow and sell much of the food of a modern supermarket in one place.
Called the “Park Supermarket”, it is a model, not yet built, for a landscape supermarket to be situated on one 4,000-acre plot in the metropolitan parks of the densely populated Randstad area of the Netherlands, which consists of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague and Utrecht.
These areas once produced much of Holland’s food and when this proposal, developed by Rotterdam-based Van Berga Kolpa Architects, comes to fruition, the intention is to produce everything from risotto rice on water terraces and tilapia fish in basins to kiwi fruit and avocados along undulating fruit walls.
Characterised by its own growing conditions, each type of food will be in its own “department”, and the architects say they have devised a system to control the park’s outdoor environment using old techniques, such as warmth accumulating walls, and more contemporary solutions such as insulating water spray roofs and under-floor heating.
Even the rising water table of the traditional Dutch polder landscape will be used to the project’s advantage. In addition, the supermarket will have small-scale farming sections and grocery shopping sections.
The challenge is to provide the diversity of food consumed by the 170 or so different nationalities that live in this area of the Netherlands today.