Of late, growing vegetables in the city has become the preferred hobby for well-educated hipsters. But the modern concept of urban agriculture is much older and broader than its trendiness would suggest; for example, Ebenezer Howard's Garden City movement began in the late 1800s. The new book Carrot City: Creating Places for Urban Agriculture (The Monacelli Press, $50) delves into the past and present of city farming, examining 40 recent and future projects that weave in edible greenery among the concrete.
Authored by architects Mark Gorgolewski and June Komisar and urban agriculture expert Joe Nasr, the book highlights mostly Canadian and American projects, with a few from the U.K., the Netherlands, and one each from China and Argentina. Built projects, like Teeple Architects' 60 Richmond Street East Housing Co-operative in Toronto (featured in our March 2008 issue), mingle with unbuilt ones such as Mithun's Center for Urban Agriculture in Seattle.
Both of these efforts are part of the book's “Redesigning the Home” chapter, which focuses on urban farming in residential communities. Another chapter is devoted entirely to products and systems that facilitate urban agriculture, such as composters and greenhouse technologies.