Urban Farming: Go Vertical

The UN predicts that the world’s population will reach 9 billion by 2050, with 80% of that population living in urban areas. In order to feed these growing cities, we must rethink our food system to efficiently reduce food waste, increase space, and produce more food. Vertical farming can not only sustainably produce healthy food, but also facilitates green jobs and environmental protection on a global scale. This urban agricultural practice uses skyscrapers or other vertical surfaces to cultivate plant life.

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Source: Huffington Post

Chicago is home to the nation’s largest indoor vertical farm, FarmedHere. FarmedHere uses soil-free, aquaponic processes to grow chemical- and pesticide-free food in a controlled environment. Urban innovations like FarmedHere serve as potential solutions to the world’s growing food supply concerns by addressing the 5 key factors for sustainable development: environment, economics, social equity, energy, and health. Unlike traditional farming, these practices use space efficiently and reduce energy and travel time. FarmedHere’s mission to grow, sell, and hire locally contributes to a sustainable Chicago economy. By growing fresh, organic produce and making it available in grocery stores throughout the city, FarmedHere ensures equitable access to its products and promotes good health.

Sources:

http://www.verticalfarm.com

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/Top_10_Emerging_Urban_Innovations_report_2010_20.10.pdf

https://vertical-farming.net/about-us/#mission

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_farming

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/22/farmedhere-nations-largest-vertical-farm_n_2933739.html

http://farmedhere.com

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Urban Farming: Go Vertical

  1. This is such a good innovation to make note of for so many reasons. It is very true we must rethink our farming methods. It is fantastic that FarmedHere is using pesticide & chemical free methods to grow its food, I just wonder how we could make vertical farming more accessible and used by the public and supermarkets throughout Chicago and eventually nation wide.

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  2. I think vertical farming is an important concept because it both utilizes space effectively and efficiently. It can make a cleaner environment for us while also creating more energy and using all of the materials that goes in. It also gives people the opportunity to farm without living in a rural community.

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  3. Do we have an idea of how cost effective these buildings are? I would imagine there are quite a lot of upfront costs to convert industrial space or construct new buildings. The technology needed to control the environment and lighting is also going to be a large cost. How expensive does the produce have to be for the business to break even or turn a profit? If it only produces food for the well to do shoppers at Whole Foods and Mariano’s then it’s not a very equitable solution.

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