What's the Buzz?
The subject of urban farming has been getting a lot of attention lately, and no wonder. In reading an article on the success of Microsoft's Cafe 34, it occurred to me that the concept of businesses growing their own food for workplace consumption can be applied to so many industries, especially in the arena of senior living.
Think about it: 10 years back, who would have envisioned that an industry leader like Microsoft would be able to use this type of food service technology to their advantage? And how many other industries can applying this technology?
Back in 2017, Forbes did an piece on the connection between diet and productivity. In the article, Ashley Stahl writes, "The wrong foods at the wrong times can seriously throw a wrench in anyone’s workday". She goes on to illustrate how the wrong diet can have negative affects on overall energy as well as brain activity and performance.
None of this would come as a surprise to our colleague, Candace Stottle, of Urban Smart Farms, who is doing some ground-breaking work at the Orange County Convention Center here in Florida. In roughly 2000 square feet of space, they grow "hyper-local food" with a minimum of produce spoilage.
Cutting-edge, forward thinkers in the senior living community are embracing the idea that creating their own food for consumption by residents produces a win-win situation. Growing healthy food on-site is both cost effective and beneficial to the health of the residents and staff. And as Microsoft is finding, having a cafe as described in the article draws diners from the outside. The benefits are numerous.
You can learn more about our work in this area, Urban Smart Farms and food trends in Senior Living Communities when you download our free e-book “What’s Food Got To Do With It?” here:
Brad Smith is the founder of Brad Smith Associates, Inc., a mold-breaking exterior planning and design firm serving the aging services industry. Our approach puts people first, focusing on their unique needs while cultivating a deep sense of community. That is done by using a rational problem-solving method, infused with Imaginality™, combining the five key components of PLACE-Creation into our designs:
Planning - Applied foresight to achieve your project goals
Lifestyle - Delivering a better result for people by understanding their needs and lifestyles
Aesthetics - The aesthetics of a property speak to the "brand essence", greatly affecting marketing.
Community - a sense of meaning, identity and belonging for the people living there
Economics - informed decision-making on the front end during the design process can yield significant dividends on the back end (by reducing ongoing operations and maintenance costs).
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