Zoey Zhang ’24
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Architectural, Structural and Urban Strategies for Urban Farming
The goals of my internship were to help achieve greater sustainability and food access in Baltimore by addressing the structural challenges of hydroponic rooftop greenhouses and develop produce distribution strategies for urban farms in the city. With the team, I helped perform structural analysis of the beams, columns, girders and foundations of potential rooftop sites to evaluate their capability to carry the required loads. I also performed online research to understand urban agriculture, as well as the current food systems and policies in Baltimore. A key component of our research was conducting interviews with leading hydroponic farmers, commercial distribution managers, and urban food and agriculture researchers and entrepreneurs. This helped us better understand the benefits and challenges of building rooftop hydroponic greenhouses in the city, the related policy restrictions, and the food-access issues within Baltimore. I discovered that agriculture and food play a significant role in creating a more sustainable future, which really opened my eyes to my commitment to sustainability. In my future studies, I want to learn more about sustainable agriculture for cleaner and healthier foods.
Food Systems, Water And Human Health
Form Finding Lab, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University
Sigrid Adriaenssens, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering