The first innovative way of creating food with a limited footprint by using the concept of the skyscraper in order to use plentiful vertical space to supply cities with organic produce. This new system is called Vertical Farming. According to Vertical Farming’s founder, Dickson Despommier, a thirty-story building could feed 50,000 people. An estimated 165 of these “farmscrapers” would feed all of New York City — each building with the footprint of 1 city block (approximately 1 acre). His calculations were based on a project he assigned to his students at Columbia University.
BIG IDEAS: Dickson Despommier’s Vertical Farming
Indoor farming is, of course, nothing new, but as Despommier mentions on the Vertical Farm Web Site:
“What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another 3 billion people.” The concept of Vertical Farming solves a multitude of problems; Verticalfarm.com lists 15 advantages. Here are some highlights:
>> Year-round crop production: 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more (strawberries for example would be a 1 acre indoor to 30 acre outdoor equivalent
>> No weather-related crop loss.
>> All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers.
>> VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water.
>> VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping).
>> VF converts abandoned urban properties into food production centers.
>> VF could reduce physical conflicts resulting from battles to control limited resources.