AgroEcology Innovation District: Desiging Agricultural Urbanism at the University of Maryland

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ARCH 407 is a 6-credit graduate design studio taught by Michael Ezban, RA, ASLA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Architecture in Spring 2022. The studio challenged students to design the AgroEcology Innovation District (AID), a proposed new development initiative at the UMD North Campus that seeks to create and amplify new spatial relationships between agriculture and public space, human and nonhuman ecologies, and campus and urban development. AID radically reconfigures North Campus through the design of three zones: the Urban Corridor Agriculture Zone; the Campus Agriculture Zone; and Campus Cohabitation Zone.

This design exercise is an exploration in “agricultural urbanism,” or urbanism in which agriculture, buildings, and infrastructure are developed in tandem, in contrast to “urban agriculture,” where agriculture is proposed for derelict areas of pre-existing urbanism. Student design strategies for the AID draw heavily from nine historical and contemporary case studies of Agricultural Urbanism projects by a range of designers.