Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2018

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


Edward Van Buren


This paper and design proposal explores the possibilities of controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) to address the issue of impending global food insecurity and widespread loss of ecosystem services while providing communities in the Bronx with tools for social empowerment. Chapter 1 presents quantitative data from sources like the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment regarding the widespread environmental impacts of industrial agriculture and shows how these harmful impacts can be limited or reduced through a transition to CEA in urban areas. Chapter 2 describes CEA design methods and technologies that can be combined in different ways to suit a diverse variety of settings and functions in dense urban areas, focusing on making use of underutilized spaces and creating closed-loop systems. Chapter 3 shows the potential cultural, health, and economic benefits of CEA in urban areas, with a focus on the Bronx. Chapter 4 consists of a design proposal for an urban CEA complex to be situated in the South Bronx drawing from the research presented earlier in the paper.