Architecture researcher and lecturer Katrin Bohn's urban agriculture project receives Berlin and UNESCO prizes.
16 Oct 2014
Architecture researcher and lecturer Katrin Bohn has won two environmental awards in the last two months for her Berlin-based live project which aims to establish community-led food growing in urban landscapes.
The project which is entitled Spiel/Feld Marzahn, aims to investigate the spatially effective, food-productive use of a brownfield site on a Berlin housing estate and at the same time to strengthen local engagement and offer lifestyle choices.
At the moment, the project consists of a 600m2 food-growing field within a larger 4,000m2 “expansion site”, purpose-built small architectures such as a shed, ‘village square’ and composting site and an emerging group of local gardeners. The field and architecture have been designed and built by Technical University (TU), Berlin students with local people under the supervision of Bohn in her role as guest professor at the university's Institute for Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning.
The initiative is a participatory design project between landscape architecture students of the TU, Berlin, the city planning department of the Berlin borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf and local people on site.
It was commissioned by the Senate of Berlin and funded with a budget of €200,000. For the project's final bi-lingual publication, Bohn has received funding through the Centre for Research and Development (CRD) at the College of Arts and Humanities.
In August, the project was recognised by the German UNESCO Commission as a “Contribution to the World Decade” within the United Nations’ Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014. This award is connected to the project's published design research - accompanying the project throughout its duration with a focus on critical reflection on design for urban agriculture, practice-oriented design and ecological education.
In September, the project was awarded the Umweltpreis Marzahn-Hellersdorf, the environment prize of the Berlin borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, for its “outstanding ecological education programme.”
An important aspect of the Spiel/Feld project are regular gardening lessons for children from local primary schools and nurseries. The lessons have been devised and are being taught by masters students in landscape architecture from the TU of Berlin.
The prize is shared by the neighbouring primary school, the recently-founded residents' gardeners' association and the student team of the TU Berlin led by Bohn.