Why You Should Be Interested in Vertical Farming

Why You Should Be Interested in Vertical Farming

Earlier this year we were introduced to the innovative concept of vertical forests which was an attempt to bring more greenery into the city. Now, some architects want to take sustainability one step further by introducing the concept of vertical farming to cities.

When you consider traditional methods of how food grows, you imagine crop fields with rows upon rows of vegetables growing on land outdoors. While this growing method works in rural areas, it's not a feasible approach for urban area. So instead, people have turned to vertical farming. 

Vastly different than traditional farming, vertical farming is the act of growing crops indoors with most projects proposed for old warehouses and disused factories. According to Urban Crop, vertical farming also uses less water, grows plants faster, and can be used year-round - not just in certain seasons. 

Vertical farming has become a relatively recent urban phenomenon with the first official commercial vertical farm opening in Singapore in 2012. Since then there have been numerous proposals for introducing the technique to more cities. Below we take a look at two project proposals that highlight the concept of vertical farming further.

1) Live Share Grow Project

Southern California designer Brandon Martella has designed the first vertical farm proposed for downtown San Diego. The project is part of the Live Share Grow community which is dedicated to reversing the harmful effects of urbanization. The development could potentially provide up to 10% of the city's produce and enhance the community with vibrant work spaces and living quarters. 

2) Shanghai Sustainable Masterplan - Central Courtyard

image ©  Except

image © Except

Part of the Sustainable Urban Masterplan for Shanghai, this image shows the central market place surrounded by four multi-program agricultural towers, otherwise known as vertical farms. These farms supply sustainable energy, fresh water and food to 50,000 people in a range of one kilometre around their centre. The open lower floors of the tower in the middle serves as a community garden, where residents can grow their own spices and specialty crops.

Not convinced about the success of vertical farms? 

In the video above, you can see how AeroFarms, a company based in New Jersey, has been conjuring up more sustainable ways to grow the world's food. Their most recent development involving the decreased use in water and elimination in soil. 

With these three projects, the main consistency seems to be that vertical farming is more efficient than current farming methods and fosters the feeling of community in the urban landscape. It's definitely something we can anticipate to see more of in the future as urban populations continuously increase as well as their demand.

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Cover Photo: Wiki Commons

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