One Canadian developer has owned 500 acres of agricultural land in Vancouver since 1989 but remained unsure of what to do with it until now. Century Group’s settling on making the land an agrihood became the perfect in-between for the traditional farming community it resides in. The project, named Southlands, will feature 950 homes, all surrounding a market square that connects directly to a 325-acre farm, according to Fast Company. Already half of the first 75 homes have been sold.
The project is building on a similar model used in a farming-centric community in Georgia called Serenbe, which is woven through with parks and farmland as a way of pushing back against the unsustainable farming practices of big agriculture and giving people a better sense of how food gets from the farm to their plate. Hodgins says Southlands is aiming to have the farm and the neighborhood support each other.
“To make smaller-scale farming viable, it really comes down to the economics of it. We can’t be too theoretical about it,” Hodgins says. The focus had to be “how we connect people to the farmers that are going to work this land so they can sell that farm produce and make it an experience for people.” By bringing the farm and its customers together, Southlands is trying to create a small-scale and sustainable marketplace for this hyperlocal food.