HASSELL has announced Cavan Smith from the University of New South Wales as the winner of the 2017 HASSELL Travelling Scholarship – Robin Edmond Award.
Cavan was selected following interviews with 22 students, nominated by the eight participating universities around Australia. His outstanding design proposal, ‘Urban Cultivation’ challenges traditional landscape solutions by using urban agriculture and arboriculture techniques to transform a post-industrial corridor in North Eveleigh, Sydney.
The corridor is identified as one of the most underused parcels of land in Sydney, but one with great potential for change. Cavan’s design framework provides strategies to convert the degraded corridor into a productive landscape – one capable of supporting environmental and economic growth through macro and micro landscape processes including food production, cleaner air and water, heat island reduction and carbon sequestration. This framework could be used to establish a community that participates in the cultivation of its necessities – its food and energy.
HASSELL Principal and Head of Landscape Architecture, Angus Bruce believes Cavan’s proposal shines a light on topical issues surrounding urban renewal and in particular the increasing density within our cities.
“Cavan highlighted urban agriculture as vital infrastructure that can support the future health of Sydney’s city; and his design proposal cleverly integrates landscape processes in a way that engages the community. We’re convinced Cavan’s creative agricultural solution – and others like it – are important to the sustainability of our increasingly urban existence,” Angus said.
Using the HASSELL Travelling Scholarship, Cavan plans to travel to North America to study the positive economic, environmental and social outcomes that urban agriculture and horticulture have had on the struggling de-industrialised cities of Detroit and Philadelphia.
“I plan to participate as a volunteer in three separate projects currently recognised as global contributors to the research and development of urban agriculture: Hantz Woodlands, Urban Arboreta and the West Philadelphia Landscape Project,” said Cavan.
“We need to start blurring the lines between agricultural, suburban and urban to have any hope of amending some of the environmental degradation that urban expansion has generated. And I’m excited to see how powerful simple interventions like these, that reignite relationships with nature and ecology, can be,” he said.
Images | Cavan Smith