2010 Global/Local: Chicken Ark Workshop
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts USA
Partner: MIT Special Prog. in Urban & Regional Studies
Date: April 2010
This two-part service project applies the MIT SPURS Fellows' remarkable cultural diversity and expertise in urban and social policy to the resolution of a local controversy.
The practice of keeping chickens on residential lots for family food production can be controversial. In Cambridge, two camps had formed, divided over concerns of public health, sound pollution, and smell.
Hailing from 16 countries, mostly in Africa and Asia, the SPURS Fellows studied the problem, and developed a ten point policy recommendation for the City of Cambridge Heath and Building Departments.
A prototype "Chicken Ark" that offered an alternative to the problems associated with traditional hen houses in urban settings. Materials were submitted to the Commisioner of Buildings and Commissioner of Health.
The City Manager presented the Ciy Council with a report finding little validity in the highly publicised concerns and objections to urban/domestic egg production, clearing the way for the drafing of guidelines that will allow Cambridge residents to keep chickens as pets and for family egg production.
Project time was divided between the sites, design and digital fabrication at the MIT studio, and fabrication and construction in the shop.