December 16, 2010 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Imagine a sustainable and sophisticated design for a public space that responds to the increasing public interest in urban agriculture, beautifies a neighborhood, and at the same time, engages the community. The Huntington Urban Farm, designed by New Zealand architect Tim Stephens, offers city residents the opportunity to connect through their shared desire for producing their own food sources.
The Urban Farm provides access to individualized plots of varying sizes where individuals can farm close to home–right in the middle of the town, near the public library, church and nursery.
”In providing these farming plots for the community to use,” explained Stephens, “the precinct will become a hub for social activity and interaction, something sorely missing in many existing communities.”
Stephens views the farm as a model to be integrated into other existing communities in different Long Island townships. To provide a “sense of adventure and discovery,” the design incorporates winding paths and changing levels that Stephens views as promoting social interaction, and chance encounters while walking through the garden.
“The Huntington Urban Farm is to pave the way for fresh thinking in terms of how communities interact with each other and how a common, productive bond can be achieved through sustainable practices,” added Stephens.