Circular City + Living Systems Lab

May 5, 2016

Live | Work | Grow: Integrating Food Production into a Cooperative Housing Project

Steven Jackson, MArch 2016

Steven Jackson, MArch 2016


With the continued growth of the world’s urban population, the demand for accessible food sources increases significantly. Over half of the global population now lives in urban areas, and projected to increase exponentially. This urban expansion not only increases demand for food production, but also influences rising costs of living as housing demand outmatches supply. Being one of America’s fastest growing cities, housing security and affordability in Seattle is being tested while extending the separation between where people live and where their food is grown. Considering the threat of housing inequity and agriculture’s ecological impacts, an integrated model is needed to supply fresh food and affordable living to urban communities. This thesis posits that an entrepreneurial group of urban farmers can work together to address food and housing insecurity by integrating agriculture with a cooperative housing project in a rapidly growing Seattle. The thesis will explore how integrating the two can aggregate the impacts into a shared infrastructure and act as a responsible model for housing in Seattle. The innovative and environmentally conscious community in Seattle make it an ideal location to become a progressive leader in building integrated agriculture (BIA) and cooperative housing, potentially influencing the shift into a new paradigm for a sustainable food system and housing type.

Thesis Committee

Gundula Proksch
Brian McLaren