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Food insecurity is an unfortunate reality for far too many people. In this noble venture, a Master of Architecture candidate takes principles of hospitality design and applies them to residential and civic design such that the communal spaces of our neighborhoods and the homes of families become more hospitable. Diego Soto entered the HD Studio with a passion for helping people and a goal to address hunger. Conversations chronicled through his book take the reader on a journey that helps the wider audience appreciate the oath architects take... to uphold the life, safety, and welfare of the general public. Diego's journey includes recognizing that building codes are in place to protect occupants. These codes lead to building systems that improve structural integrity, shelter from the rain, warmth from the cold, air quality for breathing, egress to escape fire, and so much more. Why should our buildings not also provide us with sustenance? Las Vegas imports nearly all of its food from out-of-state, yet Diego's models reveal that hydroponic systems integrated into residential design can produce enough food to sustain a family of four. The thesis could very easily have produced a one-off building that claimed to be self-sustaining, but that would have been seen as an anomaly in a sea of suburban sprawl. Instead, this work demonstrates how typical building materials (ex. concrete blocks) and building systems (ex. windows) can be redesigned to foster farming at a foundational level... In the future, it will be interesting to see if these ideas can become adopted norms in the residential design industry. Municipalities could incentivize this kind of sustainable food-source development. Future design ordinances and even international building codes might include language that leads to the merger of architecture and food production. In the meantime, these features may be among those that distinguish innovative design amongst leading home builders from that of the status quo.

Publisher Location

Las Vegas (Nev.)

Publication Date



University of Nevada, Las Vegas




Agricultural Urbanism; Urban Development; Zero Acreage Farming; Hydroponics; Food Security


Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis | Urban, Community and Regional Planning

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40400 KB


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Agricultural Urbanism: Sustainable Food Security in Urban Development