About growingCities

Saranga Nakhooda and Devin Lafo founded growingCities in 2010 upon graduating from the Master of Architecture program at Columbia University GSAPP.   

GrowingCities is a research and design think-tank focused on exposing the potential that we see in urban agriculture. We strongly believe that the growing movement of local food production has the power to vastly benefit our cities - socially, environmentally, and bodily.

The world's population is becoming increasingly urban. Understanding, evaluating and re-envisioning the systems by which cities operate are crucial steps towards creating a sustainable future, and to affecting positive change through architecture and design.

As city life becomes progressively dominant, we become increasingly distant from our food sources - a trend that has profound implications in terms of both food security and environmental impact. On average, major cities import 6,000 tons of food each day, with an average distance of 1,700 miles between grower and consumer.

The ideas and designs herein imagine an alternate possibility, one in which urban dwellers can grow their own food - expanding the economic base of the city, connecting people to a natural food cycle, and reducing food cost while increasing food quality.

We have recently been lecturing about our work, as well as working with students at Columbia University. If you are interested in having growingCities lecture or exhibit work at your university or organization, please contact us.



  • April 2011, TreeHugger "Best of Green 2011"
  • Summer 2010, Columbia University Green Building Fellowship