Gabrielle Liew
Foodprint: A Farm Framework

Thesis Supervisor: Oscar Carracedo

Food Cultivation as an agent of CO2 absorption

Due to global warming, we are starting to see life-threatening impacts of climate change on health, economies, and risks to food security. Our agricultural economy is both one of the leading victims of climate change as well as a great culprit - being one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, yet, food is one of the basic human necessities.


This thesis research and design aims to explore urban and architectural form in response to the food and climate crisis through the development of the Foodprint Framework, which transforms the carbon footprint of the food system through a closed loop system and land use efficiency.

With Singapore as the first testbed, it envisages how an infrastructural system is generated with strategies inherent to the topic of a climate positive food system from macro to micro scale.


Foodprint expresses the urge and potential to reverse climate change through a global food production model while synchronously addressing food insecurity in an urban setting. The climate positive model not only tackles climate change and food security issues but also urban connectivity, land scarcity and quality of life.

Climate change & food insecurity are plaguing our planet!
Is there a climate positive future for our food?

Throughout the stages of our food system, the main culprits of emissions are; deforestation, fertilisers, livestock, incorrect waste disposal & food miles. CO2 is emitted during these processes, which indirectly results in environmental disasters that greatly inhibit the earth’s ability to produce food on rapidly depleting arable land.

A carbon absorbing (climate positive) food framework is the passport to a new typology of farming through the following reduction and absorption methods; planetary health diet, closed-loop system, algae farming, localisation of land efficient farms constructed above existing built-up land.

2050 Singapore's
Foodprint Strategy

Food Industrialisation:


Absorbs CO2 emissions & produces food for the country while recovering the sterile industrial cityscape and transforming it into a green network that serves the people. As Singapore’s industry accounts for 44% of its national net emissions, the foodprint infrastructure when integrated into the industrial landscaped areas of Singapore, absorbs 18% of national emissions instead.

Urban Criteria &
Prototype Aggregations

Recovering land above roads to promote urban recovery and avoid deforestation. Urban connectivity and building intensity based on walkable distance. Sunlight facing hours for optimal food growth.

The infrastructure consists of various aggregations of the prototype based on orientation for varying levels of sunlight. They can be arranged linearly, butting one another or stacked into towers, depending on the desired building intensity and porosity of the urban skyline.

Foodprint Skyline
of Singapore

The contrast between the organised network of manmade greening and natural green is highlighted. A manmade living network with an active cycle of food production while passively absorbing CO2. The MRT junctions and nodes is where the network spines connect and branch into production lines. 

Building concentration and height is highest where the stations are within 500 radius.  North-South facing lines are lower rise than East-West facing lines. The urban quality shown, while greening and rejuvenating the dead industrial areas, food for the city is grown and CO2 is absorbed. Even offices and residential have potential to be introduced in the infrastructure. 

The Foodprint Prototype
& its Components

The basic foodprint prototype grows enough food to feed 1600 people annually.


It consists of; the existing road, elevated connector, distribution system, food & algae cultivation farms & the hydro-waste sunlight system.

A Food Cultivating &
CO2 Absorbing Infrastructure

The vertical movement of the containers operates harmoniously with the horizontal movement of the people and the cars while food is passively grown in the farms. It almost creates a live organism that works to produce food and take in CO2. It stands as a symbol of harmony between systems and solidarity against food insecurity and climate change, forming a strong stable network spine within the city.

The Foodprint Infrastructural Framework when implemented in Singapore is capable of providing food for almost 80% of the projected population in 2050 while also absorbing approximately 18% of national net CO2eq emissions. All, while only occupying only 1% of the total land area of Singapore, spaced out and integrated amongst the industrial areas. This aims to give hope to a more climate positive oriented approach to building our cities and its architecture in the near future.

View Zoom Critique here: