Outdated food production models result in the continued disconnect between communities and vital nutrition. Poverty and a lack of food awareness perpetuate the effects of food insecurity within communities. These effects are most evident in urban areas where fresh produce is out of reach for large swaths of the population. Connecting communities back to the food they eat will benefit cities and residents economically, socially, and environmentally. Farming with the community in the community will empower a broad urban population. Urban areas pose several challenges to food production, such as a lack of open space and a high volume of environmental contaminants. Indoor agriculture serves as a promising solution. Communities facing high poverty levels commonly exist near the city’s industrial areas. Repurposing Industrial buildings to serve as indoor farming facilities promises to benefit the communities most affected by food insecurity. There is a lack of information on the qualifying characteristics of a building to serve as an indoor agricultural facility and the complex conversion process. Creating a resource to aid new farm owners in selecting and converting existing buildings is vital to the widespread adoption of this technology. This model is applied to existing industrial buildings using Rochester, New York, a typical Northern Industrial City, as proof of concept.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Industrial buildings--Remodeling for other use; Urban agriculture; Indoor gardening; Hydroponics

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Architecture (M.Arch.)

Department, Program, or Center

Architecture (GIS)


Alissa De Wit-Paul

Advisor/Committee Member

Dennis A. Andrejko


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes