Forty Years after Pruitt-Igoe’s demise, the image of the award-winning light and airy public housing com- plex is still a reminder of failure. Blame is pointed in all directions making for a highly contested site that will carries too much weight to be acceptable for residential redevelopment. Looking ahead to the next forty years, the imminent instability of resources, effects of climate change, and expected food shortages place today as the opportunity for change. By reconstructing the building forms of Pruitt-Igoe as agricultural high rises, "Gray to Green" proposes that the environment once intended for people is better suited for plants. The re-creation of these forms honors and preserves the importance of the former housing complex while utilizing the design’s maximization of air and light benefits their new purpose. While Pruitt-Igoe once depended on the City of St. Louis for survival, its redefined identity will serve as the catalyst for a larger urban agricultural district to feed the city locally and sustainably. A model that gives any shrinking city the opportunity to repurpose vacant land as a means to revitalize its culture, environment, and economy.
Marco Garcia-Ancheita, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, University of Florida; Master of Science in Urban Design-Georgia Institute of Technology. Created in collaboration with Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design Georgia Institute of Technology.