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Developing the Dearne

Part 2 Project 2021
Helena Jordan
University of Cambridge | UK
Developing the Dearne reconceptualises city-regional spatial development from a bioregional perspective, offering an alternative framework for Dearne Valley’s fragmented post-industrial coal mining villages. Speculating how to reconnect the valley to its ecological history while promoting self-reliance, this project reintroduces industrial hemp as a rotation crop for the production of renewable construction materials, food, pharmaceuticals and clothing. Through reterritorializing public and private agricultural land plots toward a community land trust, industrial hemp catalyses versatile community owned and operated enterprises.

Sited atop the former Goldthorpe Colliery, the Centre for Sustainable Construction – housing a carbon-negative hempcrete production facility, renewable construction trade school and community facilities - sits within broader reconnective landscape interventions. The lightweight linear building links the urban townscape to the rural landscape, repairing former infrastructural and industrial damage. This construction logic draws from a knowledge of resources, supply chains, manual building techniques, and renewable construction materials.

Through the building process and school, local construction specialists, apprentices, self-builders and volunteers become empowered with the skills and material expertise to sustainably and affordably retrofit and expand the valley’s townscape. Developing the Dearne endeavours to disperse sustainable industries into peripheral post-industrial areas to dismantle central government’s city-centrist ‘green recovery’ policies.

Helena Jordan

Tutor(s)


2021
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