Authors: Kylie Feher, Ruwan Fernando, Kaan Ozgun, Ian Weir

Competition: 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI)

Book: “Regenerative Infrastructures, Freshkills Park, NYC”. New York: Prestel Publishing, p. 225

Terra Preta (Black Earth) was shortlisted for the 2012 LAGI Competition for Freshkills Park on New York's Staten Island and featured in the book publication. The project was one of the selected entries for Regenerative Infrastructures, a book which draws upon a much needed connection between the two critical issues of sustainable development - energy generation and waste management. The challenge for the design competition was to transform Fresh Kills Landfill into a site-specific public artwork, designed to operate as a source of clean energy for the city utility grid.

Terra Preta is a site specic bio-energy project, which aims to create a synergy between the public and engineered landscapes. The project challenges traditional paradigms of public space by proposing a dynamic and ever changing landscape. The initiative allows the city to self-organise the public landscape, and to be involved in the ‘algorithmic processes’ of growth, harvest and space creation. The physical transformation of the site occurs through both conventional methods of bamboo agriculture and the artful input of computer algorithms. Terra Preta uses an algorithm that is based on a series of autonomous ‘agents’ used to control the patterns of soil rejuvenation, bamboo plantation and harvest. The algorithm factors in real site conditions - such as wind, hydrology, growth patterns and soil quality and demes areas to be harvested and cleared to create public open space. The public are invited to simulate their own management scenarios via the web and pitch for their implementation.