Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



urban farming, micro architecture, movable architecture, community centered design


Shifts in economics, demographics, and lifestyle in America have lead to changes in this country's urban landscape. Rural and urban populations have migrated toward the suburbs and concentrated metro areas, leaving holes in the urban fabric of small and midsized cities. Often these empty spaces become drivers of blight, crime, and discouragement in the community.

The goal of the Grow Pods Project is to transform the negative of vacant urban lots into an opportunity for improving health, building community, and encouraging positive growth.

As a tool for integrating the food system directly into the urban context, this project addresses the need for innovative solutions to the complex issues of city land use. Grow Pods aim to help communities redirect a trajectory of decline toward a future that is focused on the health and wellbeing of the urban environment and the people who live in it. Transformation and transportability are intrinsic features of the design, in acknowledgement of the necessity for any component of a contemporary city in flux to be dynamic enough to reinvent itself within its evolving context.

The Grow Pod project is focused on the South End Neighborhood of Springfield, MA, a city whose population and industrial base has decreased since much of its infrastructure was designed. Located in the fertile Connecticut River Valley, it is also in a region with a rich agricultural history.


First Advisor

Joseph Krupczynski

Second Advisor

Kathleen R. Lugosch