Self-Designed Project: Urban Food Systems

An adjunct lecturer associated with the Spitzer School of Architecture would be interested in serving as a capstone project advisor for a team that wishes to self-design a capstone project that will investigate an important current issue related to urban food systems.

“Urban food systems” encapsulates a complex set of interrelated activities and sub-systems that collectively result in the provision of food and drink to urban residents. Food systems are increasingly being recognized as implicating urban sustainability in diverse ways. To note a few relevant aspects of food systems in the urban context:

  • Urban agriculture: possibilities and constraints
  • Hydroponics and permaculture
  • Costs (financial, environmental) of transporting foodstuffs
  • Water use in agriculture
  • Fertilizers and potential toxic runoff
  • Genetic engineering in food production
  • Greenhouse gas implications of various dimensions of food systems
  • Social justice considerations (food deserts, etc.)
  • Food waste and possible countermeasures
  • Recycling/composting of organic wastes

A team wishing to self-design a project involving one of these (or other) topics in urban food systems would be asked to flesh out the basic parameters of the project by the end of the Fall 2019 semester, in consultation with the potential faculty advisor.  It is expected that the project would ultimately be one that covers new ground and generates some primary research.