Poster: Food as Community Development
The Sustainable Communities Institute (SCI) leads projects that are focused on using food as a trigger for community revitalization. These projects all use food production through the ECSIA® system, an aquaponics process that produces more food for less money than traditional farming practices, and provides food year-round rather than for a single growing season. The system is a perfect match for urban agriculture initiatives that utilize vacant land, abandoned buildings, or underutilized green space. It enhances sustainability plans with an eco-friendly, completely green, water conservation strategy, with zero waste.
With the large volumes of food produced, local micro-businesses can be developed that address direct sales, such as co-op grocery stores, farmer’s markets, food trucks, and institutional sales. Local value-adding activities can empower local residents to develop products that celebrate family traditions and the cultural richness of the community.
The poster illustrates how these efforts can be combined into a Sustainable Living and Growing Center ™ that becomes the hub for neighborhood redevelopment. The SLGC provides training, employment opportunities, and empowerment through entrepreneurship.
It is a catalyst for reestablishing the local economy and building wealth in each community, stimulating local businesses, and celebrating the unique character of each neighborhood.
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, Ball State University
Confirmed SpeakerLohren Deeg has Bachelor of Science (Honors), Bachelor of Architecture, and a Master of Architecture Degree from Ball State University, and is now a faculty member in the Department of Urban Planning. Lohren has served with two University planning and urban design outreach programs, including “Community Based Projects” since 1996, as well as the “CAP:IC” (College of Architecture and Planning Indianapolis Center) since 2001. Through these Lohren has participated in, assisted, and facilitated a number of intensive in-situ community design workshops, commonly called “charrettes,” in municipalities across the United States, as well as Italy, Australia, and New Zealand. A number of these projects have gone on to win awards from the American Planning Association as well as regional awards. Lohren collaborates with the Sustainable Communities Institute in Muncie, Indiana. The SCI’s mission is to facilitate sustainable strategies and practices for food, water, and energy at the municipal and neighborhood level. SCI promotes the use of closed loop aqua-ponic agricultural systems as a method of growing food and providing employment in challenged communities. Lohren has worked on a comprehensive plan for the town of Bremen, Indiana, a food hub for a North-west neighborhood in Indianapolis, and has contributed to a number of site plans for sustainable living and growing center concepts. Lohren’s work with SCI received a people’s choice award for a competition entry to the Baltimore Growing Green Initiative that included a number of entrepreneurial, educational, and urban agriculture concepts. That project also went on to win an Honor Award for best proposed project at the 2014 Making Cities Livable Conference in Bristol, United Kingdom. Previous collaborations included the firm of S3 Architects in Muncie. Lohren’s work with them led to a third place judge’s award for the Indianapolis Monument Circle Ideas Competition in 2011. Other collaborations include work with Eden Collaborative of Indianapolis, illustrating several concepts for the Carmel (Indiana) Urban Design Initiative in 2006. Continuing collaborations with MKM Design Inc. and the Indiana University Center on Aging and Community allow Lohren to engage with design and planning issues for aging populations. Lohren also maintains an illustration practice as a member of the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI) with a number of clients across the architecture, urban design, and planning disciplines. Engaging citizens with graphic media in a “before and after” comparison has proved to be an effective medium of democratic, open communication and discussion in the conversations of architecture, historic preservation, planning and community development. The facilitation of community visioning is a driving force of Lohren’s practice, skills, teaching, and research. Lohren’s designs and illustrations have been published in several newspapers, action and comprehensive plans, a number of books, and have been exhibited as part of a number of national and international design competitions. Lohren’s international travel and current research into successful urban design practices and projects are culminating into a book in process called The Details of Placemaking: A Gallery of Ideas for Cities, Neighborhoods, and Towns.
Confirmed SpeakerScott Truex is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning at Ball State University. He also serves as the Co-Director of the Sustainable Communities Institute (SCI), a Muncie based “think and do center for change”. His teaching and research career has focused on Community Design and Development, Public Participation in Design and Planning, Community Visioning, Sustainable Design Practices and Affordable Housing Solutions. Through his work at SCI, Scott’s has combined his community development experiences with an emphasis on food, water and energy as a nexus for building sustainable communities that are thriving through the localization of full spectrum capitals. Sustainable Communities Institute (SCI) received the first place award at the 52nd International Making Cities Livable conference held in Bristol, England July 1st. SCI submitted its design proposal for a prototype urban farmstead for the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood in west Baltimore. The Baltimore project was the only U.S. project selected as a finalist with other projects based in England, Italy, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, and the Netherlands all competing in the category of proposed projects.. The jury comments … “This is a small project but extremely ambitious, given the context, and provides an excellent model for troubled and poverty stricken areas of cities around the world. The aspects of integrating urban agriculture, employment training, and life skills, to regenerate a neighborhood is inspiring.” This is the second award for this project as it also was a finalist in the Baltimore Growing Green Initiative (BGGI) where it won the People’s Choice Award. BGGI was a competition sponsored by the US Environmental Protection agency, Chesapeake Bay Trust and City of Baltimore.