by , 06/22/05

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will reside in urban centers. An estimated 109 hectares of new and (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. (and thats not even talking about global warming…) What to do about this impending food crisis? Many think the solution might lie in urban “skyscraper farms”.

Indoor farming is not a new concept, of course. A wide variety of produce, including tomatoes, herbs and spices, have been grown indoors quite successfully for many years. What is new, however, is the growing need to scale this technology to mass-production, to accomodate the rapidly accelerating migration of people from rural areas to cities. Skyscraper farms have enormous potential to improve both the urban and rural environment in many ways. They “green” up the concrete jungle, providing more plants and more carbon-dioxide conversion in polluted urban areas. They also allow the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed by decades of industrial horizontal farming.

The The Vertical Farm Project is an excellent website devoted to all-things urban agriculture. Currently it is showcasing a design proposal by french architect Pierre Sartoux, called the Living Tower. I haven’t got round to trying to translate Sartoux website yet (which is in French, and in Flash) ? so I don’t know very much about this project yet, other than c’est hypercool!

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  1. sandra jons May 15, 2012 at 5:26 am

    The idea is great. We really need to do something to save our Mother Earth. The idea of making our skyscapers and roof tops a gardening place is very interesting. It will really help to reduce pollution and global warming.

  2. solixis November 18, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Basée à Paris, Asar est spécialisée dans l’architecture contemporaine pour la conception des logements, des bureaux et encore les salles de réunion.
    Riche de ses expériences dans le territoire Français et encore à l’étranger, l’agence d’architecture Asar offre son savoir faire dans l’architecture pour réaliser et de répondre aux besoins de ses clients.
    Pour plus d’information visitez le site suivant :

  3. Great American September 30, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Vertical Farming is on the same level of concern to the powerful lobbies as electric vehicles and will only become a reality when good people with money and vision contribute (invest) into this sustainable method of farming.

    Don’t wait for the government to help and oppose all regulations that the politicians would impose on this wonderful technology.

    Politicians currently support big business and in my country all farms are owned by corporations and sometimes are managed by farmers (but only in small cases, since agribusiness ventures prefers farm managers who are not tied to the farm’s history).

    I am going to create a vertical farm of my own using computer technology with sustainable fuel source like wind, water, and sun. My goal is to start out at 3 levels and employ light bending techniques with fiber optics to garner as much natural sunlight as possible.

    The high cost of vertical farming being reported in the articles should be greeted with suspicion because my current estimate falls way below the reported numbers.

  4. Inhabitat: Skyscaper fa... June 30, 2007 at 2:27 pm


  5. life as usual » o... May 5, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    […] on, basically, farm skyscrapers to be built in cities.  Inhabitat says: The tools for setting up skyscraper farms have long been in existance, and with growing urban populations and increasing demand for food, the […]

  6. Katrina April 7, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    re: Joe
    The Dutch Pavilion, by Dutch firm MVRDV is still standing.

    here are pictures of its “current (I’m not sure when the photos were taken) condition

  7. Inhabitat » SKYSC... April 5, 2007 at 6:14 am

    […] tools for setting up skyscraper farms have long been in existance, and with growing urban populations and increasing demand for food, the […]

  8. Inhabitat » Blog ... June 15, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    […] I love the way that in this proposal, the prospect of vegetarianism seems more ridiculous than the prospect of creating giant high-rise ‘Pig-Cities’ throughout the Netherlands. But we do love anything to do with skyscraper farming – even when pigs are involved. In fact, especially when the pigs – instead of being real flesh and blood animals – are adorable CGI pigs rolling around in the leaves, as shown in these 3D renderings! […]

  9. joe zander January 1, 2006 at 3:12 pm

    at the expo 2000 here in hannover, germany, the pavillon of the netherlands was such a building. it?s still standing.

  10. Pierre Sartoux December 27, 2005 at 10:19 pm

    Thank you for your article on our project for Alive Tower. I make a point of indicating to you that this project is not the work of only one person but of a team: SoA architects agency (Paris). Thank you for my associers. It is consultable besides on our site: (afflicted, in French)
    Cordially, Pierre Sartoux

  11. Kyle September 26, 2005 at 5:10 am

    Marty – because over the past 25 years, that’s exactly what has happened. Our yeild-per-acre has remained relatively the same since 1980.

  12. Marty July 13, 2005 at 3:46 pm

    Why would anyone think “traditional farming practices [will] continue to be practiced as they are today”, in the year 2050?

  13. distantbody June 22, 2005 at 11:37 pm

    the wind turbines on top really round out this beautifully green concept.

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