Located on four abandoned residential lots in Kansas City’s impoverished Eastside, Nile Valley establishes a road map for transformational redevelopment of neglected lots within the city’s urban core. Nile Valley Aquaponics is founded on sustainability. Modeled after the natural ecosystem, this symbiotic technique uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming. This closed-loop system produces healthy, organic food by avoiding the use of any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or mercury, while teaching at-risk youth about urban farming techniques. The architecture reinforces this through use of solar and wind power generation, water reclamation and geothermal heating. Gathering spaces, including harvest tables, a community room and a shaded terrace, provide neighbors space to learn.
Jury Notes: The jurors look forward to the day the Nile Valley Aquaponics project will be realized. This project could become a great teaching space for the community. The building components are appropriately scaled to its neighborhood context. The design and siting of its planters, market and community room welcome neighbors in to experience its vibrant teaching mission.