Nathalie Pszola

Nathalie Pszola

Subsistence. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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Agriculture between Cologne and Bonn


Enframed by two cities, the Rhine and the ridge of the Ville, the "Vorgebirge“ is a well requested living space and meanwhile it is important to the regional food production. Since the Sixties more and more new housing estates following the design of the garden – city ideal are changing the regional landscape. Some call it urban sprawl because shortage of space does not seem to be relevant. More and more farmers
abandon their land and sell it at rising prices to the building society. But the dream of detached suburban living with garden and carport and generous roads cannot be regarded as a considerate approach to dealing with the fertile ground and the centuries-old cultural landscape.
Nevertheless, as the region is expecting an increase in population new living space is urgently needed and meanwhile farmers suffer from the endeavors for housing estates. Both – agriculture and living space – are confronted as rivals although they once used to be mutually dependent. The project proposes an "Agroforestry Collective“ as an alternative synergetic concept to the planned expansion of "Sechtem“, a small village between Cologne and Bonn. With a dense living structure and a superposition of programs, the area of 26 hectares accomodates almost the same number of inhabitants and still facilitates the production of local food. Hence, the new village area can live from agriculture as a self – sustaining collective and grow vegetables, fruits and grains combined with animal husbandry. By interweaving the subsistence of living and the subsistence of agriculture, the„"Agroforestry Collective“ is designing a sustainable and identity – forming vision for the future of suburban villages.

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