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Abstract

As Qatar is preparing to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and submitting a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, the country is pushing forward with large infrastructural developments which include public and private transport, tourism and hospitality venues, as well as a number of cultural spaces and educational institution. While these will respond to the logistical and consumption needs of such Mega Events and the aspirations to develop a diversified economy, another question related to more basic consumption needs is that of Food Production and Food Security. The State of Qatar - similar to its dryland neighbors - faces limited land and water resources, and challenging soil typology restraining its agricultural production. Qatar relies on current levels of domestic agricultural output that satisfy no more than ten percent of total national food consumption needs and 99% of the water supply is provided by desalination. In the light of these extreme conditions, it is important to find new approaches to design strategies that create a symbiosis between buildings and landscape, and to explore the possibilities of creating urban food systems and edible landscapes. As a new paradigm for the Design Disciplines, the question of Food Security prompts a necessity for innovative projects that integrate food production, maximizing productivity and minimizing land use, water and energy resources. A "systems approach" to design that consumes less resources, recycles waste, and educates the consumer to have a more "nimble" footprint on the planet is the objective of new design approaches that are "regenerative" in nature. Productive urban landscapes are implementations of this regenerative approach, which promote circular rather than linear systems, and which seek to generate surplus outputs rather than zero-energy balance. The edible landscapes vary in scale and typology, from the garden lot and pocket community garden or greenhouse, to the large scale landscapes that combine food production and leisure, and vertical farming in dense cityscapes. Rooftops of shopping malls and parking infrastructures and other industrial buildings can accommodate greenhouses and greenroofs, using recycled grey water and organic waste with aquaponic systems to grow food. A series of speculative designs to propose new scenarios for Food Urbanisms in Doha and Qatar developed by students at Qatar University are presented here, and this ongoing research on new productive landscapes for Qatar is expected to contribute to the establishment of new "consumer-productive landscapes" and possibly to the development of a Food Security Master Plan being established by the Qatar National Food Security Program.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2013.SSHP-034
2013-11-20
2019-09-16
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