Urban Farming Innovations

Technological innovation projects are important in improving the sustainability of urban environments. A company called AeroFarms, which specializes in indoor farming techniques, has created the world’s largest indoor vertical farm. The farm is considered to be a technological innovation project that can produce around 1.7 million pounds of fresh greens each year and has the potential to feed over eighty-thousand people. This farm is located in Newark, New Jersey just miles from the New York City area, one of the most densely populated urban areas in the country. With the world population expected to exponentially rise and the world becoming increasingly urbanized, indoor farming technology is so crucial to urban areas such as New York. As these cities grow, less land will be used for farming but the demand for food from farming will rise with the population. Urban farming innovations such as this one are essential for sustaining the growing population of people and making the best use of space and resources. The technology is expensive to set up, but uses 95 percent less water than traditional farming practices and no pesticides or herbicides are used in the production of these plants. On top of this, these indoor farms have the potential to produce over twenty crop rotations each year while traditional farming can, at most, only produce three. Newark has implemented small-scale AeroFarms technology into area schools to spark interest and, of course, to grow sustainable and healthy greens for students. Using this technology means that the city of Newark is reducing the environmental and energy impact of food production, as well as making healthy food available to students from various socioeconomic backgrounds in their public school system. While the initial setup cost is high, this is an investment that will pay off in the long run as they begin to produce and export food from these farms. AeroFarms wants to bring this technology to places that need it the most and the obstacle that they are looking to overcome is the high startup cost. Perhaps as more people notice the success of these farms more investments will be made and the technology could become cheaper to implement in other parts of the world.

Sources:

http://aerofarms.com/technology/

http://www.govtech.com/fs/US-Cities-Pursue-Creative-Urban-Innovation-Projects.html

http://www.ecowatch.com/worlds-largest-indoor-vertical-farm-breaks-ground-in-newark-new-jersey-1882065982.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/real-food-aerofarms-vertical-farming/?sf66651954=1

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2 thoughts on “Urban Farming Innovations

  1. This sounds like a wonderful idea to me. Personally, I would never eat at the UIC cafeteria because I don’t like the food at all. Having one of these farms nearby providing UIC with fresh food would likely improve quality and be much healthier for students. As you point out, the problem is the initial investment. This is the usual problem with most of these types of ideas. Where will the money come from? We can’t always count on someone to donate the money. There’s always the option of raising taxes which would make citizens angry. The cheaper option usually prevails, but for this one, I’d say it’d be wonderful if we found a way to get it funded.

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  2. As you stated, the technology for AeroFarms is pricey and that may be the initial drawback towards investing in something like this. However, it seems like it would pay off potentially very quickly since the amount of water is cut by 95 percent and it can produce over 20 crop rotations. It would be interesting to see how a larger scale farm this could work for a neighborhood. These farms could not only provide fresh food to schools that don’t receive sufficient funding, but affordable food could be sold locally as well.

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