Michael Lima

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2016




Minneapolis, architecture, urban, farming, waste, mixed-use, commercial, agriculture




Architectural Engineering | Architectural Technology | Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis | Environmental Design


A city works as an ecosystem in many ways. However, we currently do not live within that ecosystem, as the difference between an ecosystem and a city is the waste output and food input . Nature and society do not exist independently because there are no spaces of nature unaffected by man. With this in mind we need to reestablish our relationship with nature. Architecture and engineering can be used to create buildings that will allow humans to turn cities into ecosystems. This thesis argues that Urban Vertical Farms will produce social and economic hubs that will be a new way to feed ever-increasing populations.

The industrial food system has done many great things for people including freeing up time for other activities. However, it has also changed the way people see food and the important place that it holds in the forming of culture. The mechanization of food has given many people jobs and supported lifestyles people previously could not sustain, but at what cost? With government provision and sustainable growing strategies many buildings could support their local area in an immediate way through the production of food both with fruits and vegetables as well as meats of different types.

This thesis is proposing a mixed use commercial and agricultural building within the Warehouse District of Minneapolis, Minnesota. With a population rise of 1100% in the last ten years and close proximity to areas in need of food justice action this building investigates the ability for buildings to act not only as shelter for people, but also as life springs for those living within its proximity. Food production, water filtration and education of the human connection to their role in nature are three of the tenants that “The Seed” addresses. The Seed will germinate the concept of Vertical Urban Farming as a strategy for implementation of food justice and security programs.


local input

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