John Lanterman, RLA, Senior Instructor

Ken Renaud, Instructor

Course Overview

ENVD 3300 focused on working with the Westwood Neighborhood in Denver to develop a 1.7 acre site into a food hub.  This course is associated with Restorative Commons, a companion course taught by Tori Derr.

The studio worked in the Westwood Neighborhood with two primary outcomes- the first was to enhance social interaction and create a stronger sense of community; the second was to design the structures and site for an appropriate food hub and associated distribution systems within and outside the community. This approach provided health, economic and social benefits for residents. The outcome of this work will be a planning and design model for communities across the US.

This design studio introduced students to food systems through the design of a food hub and its surrounding site elements within an urban context.  Students learned and advocated for a broad range of issues, knowledge, and skills related to food systems. Through a series of exercises, initial design proposals and design solutions, students worked with concepts of sustainability, planning, urban design, architecture, and landscape architecture. Students worked collaboratively with each other a well as ReVision International, an active non-profit in the Westwood Neighborhood, to develop a schematic design for a food hub, including an outdoor farmers market, year around indoor market, production greenhouse, community gathering space, and associated office and retail space.

Phase One: Issue Identification, Context and Food Systems Overview, and Problem Statement

January 13th -February 5th

The first phase of the semester introduced students to the topic of food systems and food hubs as it relates to social, environmental, and sustainability issues.  Students then identified systematic issues as well as physical and social elements of the site and applied this within the context of the food hub. Through analyzation and documentation of the existing agricultural structure in the area and the goals of Revision International, students were able to respond to cultural issues attributed to food production.

Phase Two: Analysis of Local Food Systems, Economic Opportunities and Proposal Development

February 6th - March 3rd

The second phase involved analysis of the study area through the lens of a community food hub. Students researched food systems and metrics, infrastructure, and social and economic opportunities to thoroughly evaluate the systems and components, as well as the corresponding social factors and public policies of the Westwood Neighborhood. This phase included fieldwork, data collection, and documentation to result in a comprehensive design proposal that directed the remainder of the project.

Phase Three: Food Hub Design Solutions for Building, Site, & Neighborhood

March 5th - April 30th

The last phase of the studio involved the synthesis of previous phases into a design solution for a community-based food hub in Westwood. Students developed final design and planning solutions that acknowledge the surrounding social and economic forces. Projects responded to design proposals developed in Phase 2 and continued into detailed designs of a food hub in the Westwood Neighborhood. Students prepared conceptual design solutions for detailed elements of the food hub site.