Urban Food Systems

UArizona students partnered with five community organizations to design sustainable urban food systems in Tucson, with an eye toward models applicable throughout the Desert Southwest.

Urban Food Systems


  • UArizona architecture students in ARC 410F
  • Courtney Crosson, Assistant Professor of Architecture

Project Details and Article

Budget: $10,000; funded by GLHN Architects and Engineers

Where: Tucson, Arizona

When: August 2021 - December 2021

Urban Food Systems: GLHN-Sponsored Architecture Studio Crafts Paradigm for a Sustainable Future

Project Overview

The Urban Food Systems project provides four visions of Tucson’s food future designed by UArizona Bachelor of Architecture students with community partners Las Artes, Mission Garden, Merchant’s Garden, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and Pima County Regional Flood Control District. This studio is sponsored by GLHN Architects & Engineers. As arid cities continue to face the challenges of urban water access, rising temperatures and “food deserts”—low-income neighborhoods without access to healthy and affordable food—design solutions for urban food systems are imperative.

In this studio, taught by UArizona Assistant Professor of Architecture Courtney Crosson, students explore urban food systems in our community. The designs have two main objectives: (1) support the growth of our urban food system and (2) maximize the use of sustainable sources of water for food cultivation. Each organization represented various typologies for the future of food systems in Tucson: river-adjacent (Mission Garden), community garden (Los Nopales Community Garden and Kitchen), backyard farming (Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and Pima County Regional Flood Control District), food hub and community garden (Las Artes) and indoor-controlled agriculture (Merchant’s Gardens, a converted former school).

Project Gallery

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