Nutritious City: The Biospheric Project
20 March 2014 12:00 pm at SAUL Studio
Speaker: Greg Keeffe
The Biospheric Project is a collaboration between Professor Greg Keeffe of Queens University School of Architecture, and Vincent Walsh CEO of the Biospheric Foundation, Salford, funded as part of the Manchester International Festival 2013.
The Project aims to challenge contemporary notions of food production and supply, by providing a positive alternative, based on technological application, ecological thinking and community involvement. It consists of a series of urban interventions regarding food production supply and delivery, which aims not only to feed people in a more healthy and sustainable way, but also close resources cycles and improve urban resilience.
The Project consists of a technological food system, a forest garden and wholefood shop in the Blackfriars neighbourhood of Central Salford. Blackfriars is typical of many inner-city neighbourhoods in the UK, being economically, socially and environmentally deprived. Although it is less than a kilometer from the centre of Manchester, there is no place to purchase fresh food.. Inserted into Irwell House, a previously derelict mill near the river, the project aims to produce hyper-localised food in a way that is sustainable by closing resource cycles. The innovative technological food system, consists of a bio-diverse aquaponic farm, which produces leaf crops and fish. The system is simple, fish are reared in tanks in the second floor of studio of the Biospheric Foundation, and plants are grown in a polytunnel on the roof of the building. The system works in a cyclical way – waste food from the neighbourhood feeds the fish, and the waste from the fish feeds the plants, which in turn purify the water for the fish. Filtration in the system is provided by a worm based mineralization system.
Greg Keeffe is an academic and urban designer with 25 years experience in sustainability, energy use and its impact on the design of built form and urban space. He is Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Director of Research at Queens University School of Architecture, Belfast, UK.
Over the past 25 years he has sought to develop a series of theoretical hypotheses about our future existence on the planet, through a series of technological and spatial interventions. Most of his work comes out of a free-thinking open-ended discussion about how things should be.
Greg has extensive experience of working closely with architects and planners to develop exciting ways of re-invigorating the city through the application of innovative sustainable technologies, informing his work on the sustainable city as synergistic super-organism. In 2013 he developed The Biospheric Project, for Manchester International Festival (2013) in conjunction with Vincent Walsh of the Biospheric Foundation.