AMS Urban Greenhouse Challenge

Design the Ultimate Urban Greenhouse at Bijlmerbajes

Together with Wageningen University and Research, AMS Institute is organizing a student challenge to design the ultimate urban greenhouse. The location for the challenge is the area that previously functioned as a prison, the “Bijlmerbajes” in Amsterdam. The designs and ideas of the student teams should encourage citizens to actively engage with the sustainable production and consumption of healthy food, actively contributing to a sustainable and liveable city.

The explosion in urban growth presents opportunities as well as challenges to the quality of life in and outside our cities and our food systems. The expansion of cities is also placing enormous strains on the environment and our natural resources. One-fourth of all agricultural land is seriously degraded and as a result. This challenges architects and urban planners to create new models for sustainable urban development.

At the same time, urban agriculture is increasingly recognized for its positive effects on health, social cohesion, food security, climate change and the environment. Urban agriculture creates a new kind of city, a city of generative ecologies that amplify energy flows, nourish social networks and hum with productive enterprise. From a design perspective, integrating agriculture into urbanism dramatically improves the generative capacity of buildings, landscape, , infrastructure and cities.

During the student challenge “Design the Ultimate Urban Greenhouse” teams are asked to come up with disruptive innovations and ideas to respond to these developments.

Meet the teams

24 teams from 30 universities in 10 countries. One challenge.
The selected teams are asked to come up with innovative concepts and technologies for an “urban greenhouse”. Which can be broadly interpreted – also including vertical farming, indoor farming and integrated growing systems such as aquaponics. Central to the concept is the significant, more than symbolic, production of food in the urban environment, and the integration in local circular flows.

The student teams are challenged to bring professional food production (back) into an urban neighborhood, connecting it with local resource flows and e.g. local (smart) energy systems. The former Bijlmerbaijes is a perfect location for this challenge, as the Bajes quartier will be redeveloped by Bajes Kwartier B.V. into an urban residential area that aims to become a vibrant hub of Amsterdam, where design and art are combined with the latest innovations in the field of sustainable living.

The challenge provides a unique opportunity to highlight the essential role of architectural and landscape design in tackling the challenges of urbanisation. The design of the urban space and buildings is crucial in connecting, strengthening and enabling the technical, social and environmental innovations for sustainable cities and urban food production.

Project milestones and final presentations
The student teams will be working on their plans until the final symposium that will be held on the 28th of August. The best ideas deriving from the student challenge will be used as inspiration by Bajes Kwartier B.V. and its partners to redevelop the former Bijlmerbajes into a true asset for the area, contributing to a vital, sustainable, connected and liveable area.

Core partners of the Student Challenge “Design the Ultimate Urban Greenhouse” are: Wageningen University & Research, AMS Institute, Bajes Kwartier B.V., AM, FABRICations & Rabobank and Klasmann-Deilmann.