GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
Grichting Solder
First Name:
Title of Paper:
Designing Productive Landscapes for Increased Consumption in an Emerging Desert Metropolis. The Case of Doha
Paper Proposal Text :
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 post-carbon knowledge economy, another question related to more basic consumption needs is that of Food Production and Food Security.
This paper explores the paradigm of Food Security in Qatar and the potential of designing Productive Urban Landscapes in the emerging metropolis of Doha and other Gulf Cities. The State of Qatar – similar to its dryland neighbors - faces limited land and water resources, restraining its agricultural growth. 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 that create a symbiosis between buildings and landscape, that create urban food systems and edible landscapes.

As a new paradigm for Urban Planning, Urban Design and Urban Regeneration, Food Security induces a necessity for innovative architectures and landscapes 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” on the planet is the challenge and objective of new design approaches that are “regenerative” in nature. The contributions to a new producitif urban landscape may be at very different scales, from the garden lot and pocket community garden or greenhouse, to the large scale landscapes that combine food production and leisure, and to the vertical farming that can produce food and create green and shaded facades. Rooftops of shopping malls and parking infrastuctures and other industrial buildings can also be transformed into greenhouses and greenroofs, using recycled grey water and organic waste or aquaponic systems to grow food.

Through speculative designs to propose new visions and scenarios for Food Urbanisms in Doha and Qatar developed by students at Qatar University, as well through case studies of in a variety of urban and rural drylands. this research on new productive landscapes is expected to contribute to the development of a Food Security Master Plan being developed by the Qatar National Food Security Program and to new “consumer-productive landscapes”.