Honorable Mention

The Jury was of the opinion that two of the competition blogs deserved honourable mention because of the important insights they contributed to the understanding of how the capacity for resilience could be developed.

The FIH in Fairview Mall proposal by Bronwyn White also received praise from the Jury for helping to redefine the concept of a mall. The thoroughly researched proposal won high marks for creatively adapting existing methods of local food production in a way that was both relevant and applicable to a wide spectrum of situations.

Bronwyn’s proposal shows how, contrary to conventional wisdom and patterns of development, revitalization in malls can be more substantial than simply inviting in brand-name retail megastores. The Jury found that using the mall as a focal point for uniting all of the dimensions and uses of food in one space, from production and preparation to sale and consumption, would likely have positive socioeconomic outcomes. The opportunity for the Food Innovation Hubs (FIH) idea to be scaled and adapted to other failing malls also impressed the Jury, which believed that these hubs could kick start the development of regional food networks. “By taking some technologies that already exist on the shelf, like growing food on roofs and walls, and because of its relevance to a wide spectrum of situations, this proposal deserves high marks,” said jury member Douglas Pollard.

Recognizing that people do not normally associate malls with food production, the Jury would have liked to see more elaboration of plans to conduct public outreach and redefine the property and its use, although the proposal’s Education Center was a step in the right direction. In general the members of Jury felt that the proposal did a terrific job of focusing on food, although if the focus had been widened to explore a greater heterogeneity of uses and functions, especially those that could support food production such as energy generation and grey water recovery, then it might have been even stronger. As large spaces, malls have a great potential to be converted to multi use. “Including other services like daycare, and even some residential, might help to make the mall into the truly resilient hub this proposal hopes it can become,” said Michael Haggerty.