“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” – Jane Jacobs
With 80 percent of the world’s population living in cities, we are more and more reliant on urban environments and their ability to protect and improve essential natural systems, from healthy forests and watersheds to the soil supporting farms that feed us.
But it’s not up to just city planners and real estate developers to reimagine our blocks, neighborhoods, and cities for the better.
As illustrated by the diversity of finalists in this year’s SXSW Eco Place by Design challenge, it will take all of our collective talent to make cities designed and built with nature at their heart a reality.
New this year to SXSW Eco, the Place by Design competition celebrated innovative design work that transforms the built environment for positive economic, environmental, and social impact. The visionary projects from our fellow finalists demonstrated the potential for public space to cultivate and revive localized culture, profoundly affect civic engagement, encourage environmental adaptation, and improve public health.
That’s why — in the company of some of today’s most creative artists, developers, community activists, corporations, and entrepreneurs — Nathan Kadish, Ecotrust’s Director of Investment Strategy, was honored that the Redd on Salmon Street was recognized as the winning project in the Place by Design Resilience category.
Like our fellow finalists, we believe that place matters and that the relationship between people and place cannot be over-estimated. Place-based design is consistently shown to positively affect public health, community engagement, social equity, environmental quality and economic prosperity.
Food and farming has been a central focus of our work for nearly 10 years. We’ve learned a lot over the last decade, pecking at the barriers between farm and plate, trying to break open the black box and make the process of getting to market easier and more transparent for producers who want to grow their business. We canvassed the neighborhood — down the street and the next range over — to see what our producers needed to keep doing what they’re good at: taking care of our water and soil so they can continue providing customers with great local food.
The Redd on Salmon Street is imagined as a working hub for the food economy. Two city blocks that will not only offer the hardware of bringing food to market, but the software, too. And one more piece of the puzzle that will bring greater resilience to the places we call home.