Presentation and Q&A by David Koezen (Space & Matter)

Upward Urban Farming

This session focuses on urban farming as food supply of the future. First with a documentary that vividly sets out global issues and initiatives; then with a presentation of concrete, future-oriented architectural contributions by the Amsterdam office Space & Matter.

In 2040, 9 billion people are expected to live on Earth – most of them city-dwellers. How can they be provided with fresh, sustainable, tasty and safe food? How to bring production and consumption closer together and prevent waste? An increasing number of urban farmers in all corners of the world (United States, Sweden, Singapore) is seeking answers to those questions. That supposes to think about farming in a new way: as something that isn’t natural, but consciously conceived, implemented and controlled by human beings. And why would that not be possible in an urban environment? The Netherlands are a pioneer in intensive agriculture, which makes them the second largest agricultural exporter in the world. The country’s ultramodern technology, decades of experience and expertise as well as innovative research by universities and companies attract countless interested people who want to implement something similar in their home country. The documentary ‘The Rise of Vertical Farming’ (NL 2017, Geert Rozinga, 47 min) provides an accessible and tangible insight into current issues and developments.

David Koezen, senior architect at Space&Matter, comes to presents the transformation of the former Philips factory in The Hague into Europe’s largest aquaponics rooftop farm: a circular system where the excrements of aquatic animals in aquaculture are used as food for plants in hydroponics. With this project (Urban Farmers), Koezen illustrates the future-oriented approach of Space&Matter, which is also perfectly reflected in the ongoing Schoonschip project: a unique residential area – floating, sustainable, circular and initiated by a group of enthusiasts with a shared dream. Houses were designed individually; the neighbourhood is organized collectively in a very innovative way.

David Koezen is senior architect at the Amsterdam-based architecture office Space&Matter, which does not only design buildings, but also creates urban development strategies, makes online platforms and even initiates new business ventures. Everything is always focused on improving the built environment and promoting a cohesive society. They strongly believe that smart design approaches can trigger innovations and contribute to financial, environmental and social improvements. An earlier project of Space&Matter was already presented at Arquiteturas Film Festival in 2016 in the documentary ‘Urban Tides’ (NL 2015, Simone Eleveld, 38 min): Space&Matter turned the abandoned and polluted shipyard De Ceuvel into a super sustainable creative district.

The Rise of Vertical Farming

Geert Rozinga
The Netherlands, 2017, 47
Documentary Official Program

Our food system is currently organized very inefficiently. Our food travels for many kilometres, uses an excessive amount of water, is wasted on a tremendous scale and also contaminates the environment. And yet, the 7 billion residents of planet Earth – all mainly living in large cities – must be fed. In an attempt to achieve this in a sustainable manner, food production must for the most part be integrated into the urban infrastructure. Food flats and city agriculture are important alternatives for this.