Resources that we count on

The term “Global Warming” has been resonating in our ears for a while now and it manages to catch our attention while the topic is at hand. However once the lecture is over or the video ends, we tend to quickly forget all about it. Perhaps we don’t tend to forget but it is easier to pretend it is not happening or it is as if we try to ignore it and neglect it, it will somehow vanish or stop progressing. Unfortunately, that is not the case with this fella. In fact, ignoring it and continuing with the way we’re building and progressing will only make it worse for our generation and generations to come. On the other hand there are several attempts around the world to tackle global warming, one that is 11020 kilometers away from Ankara grabbed my attention due to the unconventional proposal.

Prior to researching this topic whenever the issue of global warming is brought up, as an architecture student I immediately direct my thoughts towards green roofs and buildings. However, it is easy to forget that one of the results of global warming is the increased droughts in dry areas. The consecutive droughts in California are getting worse and worse every year which led to the emergence of a project called “Grassroots Cactivisim” which proposes the usage of nopales cactus which has the ability to grow anywhere in California. The cacti available in the farm will be used for animals, humans, and for water treatment as the plant possesses water treatment capabilities. Besides the unconventional way of dealing with global warming and its resulting issues, the project is not just a water treatment facility. It is an eco-resort which will attract many travelers and curious visitors from all around the world. The farm will also include a water museum and other resort amenities. This will not only attract excited visitors but it will also help raise awareness and perhaps exhibit the significance of the issue that the world is facing.

In my opinion, for a while we stayed focused on how to make the spaces, complexes, towns, and cities comfortable for us and how to promote a healthy lifestyle. However in the middle of all these major projects that make us awe and travel thousands of kilometers to see and experience, we seem to have forgotten that most of the resources we are rely on are only temporary and will eventually run out.  If these essential resources run out or even become contaminated, humanity will suffer and will not be able to proceed forward anymore as it will not have the time to think about development and innovation. Energy and money will probably be mostly spent on how to find these essential resources or how to treat/purify which were once available to us in abundance.  The droughts in California may not be the worst example of global warming but it is one that cannot be neglected it like many others.

Design and Architecture should not just consider human life but also the resources that are provided by our planet and to carefully consider the consequences of our built environment for the coming years and centuries. Fortunately ,there are plenty of attempts to reduce global warming or to adjust to new environments and climates but to combine a resort where people can enjoy and relax with a cacti farm that is essentially helping California and the rest of the world as California happens to export plenty of plants and crops to the rest of the world. Designing and building a cacti farm/resort is not the sole and only solution to droughts and global but it certainly a step forward. Raising awareness across different countries and districts will hopefully aid in many other unconventional solutions like “Grassroots Cactivism”.


1. Vladimir Gintoff. “”Grassroots Cactivism”: Using Cacti and Eco-Tourism to Combat Drought in California” 27 Sep 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed 14 Feb 2017.