Student Works: Edible Corridors

[A proposal for the ONE Prize by Drew Adams, Fadi Masoud, Denise Pinto, Karen May, and Jameson Skaife titled Growing the Hydro Fields approporaites hydrocorridors as cultivatable public lands.]

Coming off the contagious energy of the Foodprint.TO event last weekend, and the whirlwind of conversations (now thankfully on video) on Toronto’s food infrastructures, it was a pleasure to see the finalists of the ONE Prize competition included an agro-centered proposal by students - Drew Adams, Fadi Masoud, Denise Pinto, Karen May, and Jameson Skaife - from the University of Toronto. The ONE Prize competition had asked for proposals of productive landscape strategies  in urban contexts. This team’s proposal re-considered the extensive network of publicly-owned hydroelectricity corridors cutting through urban infrastructures. They identified its potential as a food line - turning a land-use detractor (powerlines) into a land-use amenity (agriculture). Here is an accurate portrayal of a typical hydroelectric corridor from Toronto’s resident flaneur.

[Intersections of the proposed Hydro Fields at various sites along the corridor.]

The Hydro Field design team writes that:

Within a 125 mile radius of downtown Toronto, there is approximately 8,145 acres of space to grow within Greater Toronto’s Hydro Corridors. This is the equivalent of 51 full 160-acre commercial farms, or 294 28-acre urban farms, or 58,500 0.14-acre community gardens. Such vast amounts of arable land suggest not only considerable feasibility but significant potential for a reduction in imported produce.

[Toronto’s hydroelectric network carves green lines through the city’s grid.]


[World crop import dependence and seasonality for produce into Toronto.]

The team suggests the origanization of a body called FeedToronto (similar to BuildToronto and InvestToronto) will modulate seeding, harvest and distribution. Though the current land is owned by the hydroelectric company, the team proposes a provocative solution of a split ownership of ground rights (for cultivation) and air rights (for electrical transfer). 

[Land-use typologies for Hydro Fields.]


[Typology deployment along Hydro corridors and in relationship to existing transportation networks.]

Converting the corridor into an (economic) amenity will dramatically affect adjacent land uses. Toward this, the team offers a range of types to demonstrate various Hydro-field edge developments - residential, institutional, commercial, and light industrial. You can imagine the possibility of harvest time cruising down a corridor in a Gleaner combine harvester in a single, continuous line, experiencing the field as an urban section through the city’s back hydro-electric (agro-)avenue.

[Nutrition facts!]

For more on corridors, see Terrestrial Discontinuities and Power of Ecosystems / Ecosystems of Power.

Student Work

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