Where do you want to retire? It’s a question that many Gen X’ers (and perhaps even some Millennials) have asked of themselves. Assuming you and I are lucky enough and financially secure enough to retire, what environment do you want to be in during those ‘golden years’?
As generations age requiring increased care and attention from younger generations, this is a conundrum that will likely place itself out increasingly around the globe in coming years. Yet, one does not typically think of senior care and sustainable living together. Well, at least not until now.
Now, transport yourself to Singapore for as moment (just trust me here). Singapore imports 90% of its food supply and is a rapidly aging society. Singapore-based architectural firm SPARK has some conceptual thoughts on this interesting conundrum on living sustainably – Homefarm.
In many ways, senior care should do just that – sustain life. Spark’s aim with their Homefarm concept is to ‘generate discussion about the many potentials that can emerge from the mixing of two typically separate realms’. What is Homefarm, you ask?
Simply put, it is “retirement living combined with vertical urban farming.” Little more detail, huh? Okay, sure thing!
Homefarm is a community for retired persons to live, and it is a place for them to farm their own food giving them a sense of belonging, purpose, and security.
The smart design of this living facility is both socially and environmentally conscious. While traditional flat growing farmland is incorporated into the design, vertical urban farming is accomplished through the use of aquaponic growing frames.
These frames provide a suitable growing environment for crops and are very environmental and self-sufficient. Water for the frames is collected from rainwater and circulated in the system. Before the water enters the frames to be consumed by plants, it flows through a tank of tilapia fish to acquire nutrients such as nitrates. This approach is a very different idea than conventional farming.
The residents at Homefarm will enjoy the added social benefits the come with living in this facility. Light gardening affords residents with the opportunity to be physically active and at the same time potentially reduce expenses associated with purchasing food outside the community. They have the freedom to spend their savings in other ways. Residents will be in community in a healthy way with others in the same stage of life as them.
We need more solutions like this to ensure we can sustainably support our aging population while providing a high quality of life for them.
Any thoughts on Homefarm you would like to share? Would you want to live here during your retirement? Share your comments below.
Imagery provided by Spark Architects