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farms in the suburbs

seems the relentless and desperate annotation of architectural drawings with “green wall” labels has given birth to a new cynicism of urban agriculture. fair enough, but not to discount it. roof-top and community gardens might attract eye-rolls from over-use in planning and design prose, but really there is absolutely nothing bad about them. urban gardens are like bikes. you can say that they won’t solve anything but actually they do make lots of things better.
but suburban agriculture, like the sort you see from the shinkansen, sandwiched in between dense residential neighbourhoods and railway tracks in Japan, would make everything a lot better. about a third of Japan’s agricultural output is generated in urban areas. the plots of land are anywhere from 200 to 1000 sqm and in October feature vivid acid-yellow rice crops as well as leafy cascades of the sort that create squash and corn. this country doesn’t waste things. those buffer zones we line highways with, those setbacks to wide streets; for what? for the foxes? farming is an especially relevant pursuit in the empty corners of the Australian suburbs which crawl over the arable 10% sliver of the wide country.

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