Edible Campus


I found inspiration in an unexpected place this summer: McGill University in Montreal. Its School of Architecture collaborated with local NGOs to create productive garden growth in a concrete, prominent urban corner of the University’s downtown campus. The result – an edible garden that transformed an existing neglected space into a beautiful, strategic food producer.

Here’s how McGill reinvented a 3287 m2 barren concrete space:

  • Vertical growing: Beans sprawl a wall on the side slope of the entrance to an underground academic building. Another wall with few windows became the support system for squash and tomato vines.
  • Containerized garden: A bare concrete plaza turns into a garden path with containers and arches growing vegetables and herbs.
  • Rooftop garden: An underutilized, unattractive terrace became a bountiful fruit and vegetable garden.

In 5 months, the total harvest reached nearly 400 pounds. The food is donated to individuals around Montreal with mobility impairments. The edible campus demonstrates how productive planting can transform underutilized urban spaces.

Start planning during the long, winter months. A small garden can have a big impact.



Photo Credit: McGill University

Amanda Jayachandran

About Amanda Jayachandran

Amanda creates unique strategies to help tell her clients’ stories. Her passion for design earned more than 35 design awards across branding and identity campaigns, direct marketing and demand generation, websites and event support. She consistently exceeds industry standard returns in interactive and print campaigns.

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