Brush Park Gardens – A Conceptual Demonstration Project Sustainable Urban Agriculture In a historic Detroit Neighbourhood

Brush Park Gardens is a proposed garden ensemble and community gathering space within one of Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods – Brush Park, which is slowly making a come-back. It needs a catalyst to drive investment and vibrancy throughout the district.

Surrounding the site are well-occupied, restored loft buildings with strong historical character. Sensitivity to the fine-grained urban fabric nestles Brush Park Garden into the neighborhood in a complementary way, creating good relations with the street.

In a city becoming known for thought leadership in urban agriculture, this project is designed to be Detroit’s most highly visible growing environment. More than at any time in it’s storied history, Detroit needs tangible signals of renewal.

The adjacent grocery store creates a multiplier-effect. Organic harvest from the gardens and greenhouses will be showcased in store displays and featured in cooking demonstrations. Harvest meals will be enjoyed by neighbours and store patrons, in the innovative Garden Pavilion, which provides sheltered community gathering space amid the gardens.

It is a .75 acre garden campus composed as an outdoor public room, with four-season growing in a variety of specialty garden types… Potager’ Market Garden, Community Garden, Herb Garden, and Greenhouses. Innovative greenhouses from re-fabricated shipping containers are designed to be self-sustaining with their water-harvesting butterfly roofs, internal irrigation systems, utilizing solar, geo-thermal and wind energy to efficiently keep the site self-sustaining.

The intention is to partner with the neighborhood leaders and a university specializing in organic horticulture, to bring BPG alive as a learning laboratory. The ensemble elements can adaptively situate easily on other sites – hospitals, schools, corporate campuses, and municipal centers. Cities need elevated design aesthetics and purposeful connections with local fresh food to help people raise their estimation of what their neighborhoods can become. Brush Park Gardens demonstrates one vibrant possibility for that emerging vision.

Mr Ron Omilian, Founder, 42nd Parallel Group, USA will speak at the 5th International Urban Design Conference – The Hilton on the Park, Melbourne, Australia from the 10th to the 12th of September – 2012

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