Building the Capacity of the Built Environment: The Alternate City

Format: Papers, RSD5, Topic: Architecture & Planning

Robert Mitchell & Jeremy Bowes

As people migrate to cities in increasing numbers, infrastructure, resources and resilience becomes taxed and fragile. An urban challenge is to create a more sustainable and resilient city that can provide affordable food and housing for it’s inhabitants. This paper identifies key related issues, and explores a number of systemic approaches to integrating food and housing to build capacity and create a more resilient city ecology. Considered, as a systemic problem, Toronto being a large multi-cultural centre is a good case study with a serious need for affordable access to nutritious, culturally appropriate food, and housing to serve families, the working poor, and new Canadians, many of which are looking for rental accommodations. Consideration of mixed-use space that includes low, medium and high-density residential space, and possible options of urban food production highlights opportunities. The need for a local self sufficient food system, is paired with the competing need of an affordable place to live, to consider merged alternatives of growing local food within the emerging new contexts of affordable urban communities. Summary points are outlined as a series of next step recommendations to suggest a way forward to the built environment of the alternative city of the future, which must be self-sufficient, and build the capacity to generate its own resources in terms of energy and food from within the city itself.

Citation Data

Author(s): OCTOBER 2016
Title: Building the Capacity of the Built Environment: The Alternate City
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 20 September 2016
Last update:
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Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


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Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

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