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Reclaiming the Urban Environment: The Catford Nettle Factory

Part 1 Project 2019
Jack Parker
University of Brighton | UK
Cities are becoming increasingly urban, densifying to the point that it is affecting the fabric of the city itself. Whilst the built environment thrives with potential and progress, the natural environment of cities faces the consequences of this mass urbanisation. The Ravensbourne River would once have been at the heart of Catford but as the city has become increasingly urban over time, it has become disregarded and under-utilised. Pollution of water and waste pollution has highly affected it leading it to become overgrown and untended, resulting in a lack of biological diversity and harming the natural ecology that would once have flourished. The project looks at one of the plants that survive - the Stinging Nettle. Manufactured into clothes, food and other products, the Nettle, which is native to riverbanks of the UK, provides the river with an opportunity to become a functional element to the Catford community once more. The synthesis is a production centre for nettle fabrics which looks to nurture the existing natural ecosystem of river to help create a more balanced ecosystem, whilst also addressing the idea of an urban-agricultural union and the role nature plays in our cities.
Jack Parker


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