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Alumnus Tim Rodber wins RIBA #ReThink2025 with Greater London Agriculture proposal

How the virtuous cycle of GLA works and a sketch of how the city might be experienced. (Credit: Tim Rodber and Dominic Walker)

Tim Rodber, who graduated from the LSA in 2019, has won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ #ReThink2025 competition with Dominic Walker with a plan to turn London into a patchwork of food-producing landscapes.

A ‘Greater London Agriculture’ (GLA) proposes embedding a series of growing spaces around the city and its peri-urban fringe. A patchwork of productive landscapes will, slowly but surely, become connected by bio-diverse corridors, with wildflowers for pollinators and wild herbs and edible plants for foraging.

“A Greater London Agriculture will return the food system to one which respects and values the natural world,” say Tim and Dominic. “With more localised, resilient, seasonal food growing — both professionalised and casual — we can eat more delicious food, and the knock-on effects – from storm management to preventative healthcare – will be profound. Almost incidentally, this new system will reduce our reliance on a global industrialised agriculture, allowing ecosystems to recover, biodiversity to flourish, and the threat of another pandemic to diminish.”

Greater London Agriculture masterplan, designed by Tim Rodber and Dominic Walker, joint winner of RIBA Rethink 2025.

“Out of this pandemic,” says Mecanoo’s Francine Houben, a judge on the RIBA panel. “We have to do little and big things. This is big, bringing back the relationship between cities and agriculture. It works at different levels; some things you do yourself, government takes responsibility for others. It creates public space and bike/pedestrian networks, which is good.”

Sarah Castle of IF_DO also commented: “There is analysis and proposal. It identifies hubs that already exist and stitches them with new ones.’ Fellow judge Asif Khan adds: ‘It shows clear hierarchical design thinking from individual to city. It’s an ideal combination of top down and bottom up. The way they have drawn it is really successful too.”

Read the full write-up of Greater London Agriculture on the RIBA Journal website. Tim and Dominic are working to put their plans into action. To find out more, visit greaterlondonagriculture.com