Gallery: Smarter Cities: Vertical Farming Could Ease World’s Agricultur...

vertical farm, urban centers, urban farming, local farming, organic, organic produce, local, sustainable farming, vertical farm

By 2050, the world’s population will have increased by 3 billion people, requiring an additional chunk of arable land the size of Brazil in order to grow enough food. Add to that the potential loss of coastal property from rising sea levels, crop loss from drastic weather related incidents, and the need to reforest large swaths of land to sequester CO2. What we’re left with is a global mess that could be helped by a new agricultural technique – vertical farming. Located in an urban setting, the vertical farm is a win-win idea that automates the production of food in a more sustainable manner, by reducing waste, pollution and carbon emissions.

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  1. octavia September 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    The idea of high-rise vertical farming is a massive con to separate idealistic, scientifically uneducated investors from their money. Honestly,you would do better to grow lettuce, tomatoes and herbs on your city balcony.

  2. Dawn72 August 3, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Is it economically and ecologically viable and preferable to normal flat farming?

    Some of the criticism of vertical farms include it’s economics and environment. It seems that savings from transporting food doesn’t match the costs of lighting, air conditioning and building that would be required for vertical farming. The economist magazine and criticism on wikipedia show that it isn’t viable in its current concept.

    What these critics don’t see is that buildings, in their idea state, are multi-use structures (combining office, shopping, living, recreation, and light production in the same building). A building needn’t be strictly office space. It can have narrow farm areas along it’s sunnier sides, which are connected with the building’s lunch/break rooms. This way people can have a very pleasant place to eat, and their food waste and coffee grounds would easily go into the composting apparatus. The office workers would provide CO2 for the plants and the plants return the favor with oxygen and cleaner air.

  3. G L Bansal October 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    The idea of VF is exciting and catching also but my only apprehension is of insect pest and disease attack, if occurs, can destroy the system very quickly

  4. Chuck Goodman February 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Nice sci-fi graphics but here’s the real thing happening right NOW…

    Time Magazine says Valcent’s Vertical Farming Technology one of the Top 50 Best Innovations of 2009:

    “I can’t think of any technology that addresses more urgent issues than Valcent’s vertical farming system”, says RFK Jr

  5. javakimmy7 October 22, 2009 at 11:35 am

    very interesting

  6. David Nock October 18, 2009 at 10:39 am

    In an era of further increases population, I question the logic of automating the production of food … especially since the cultivation of food is such an inherently human endeavour.

    Indeed, agriculture and permanent settlements are the two interdependent and interwoven foundational aspects of civilization.

    I want to be clear: I am not against vertical farming.

    I just believe that our primary focus should be ‘making better use of what we already have’ … making best use of the available land area (soil) in urban/suburban areas. By this, I mean the yard spaces of residential properties (mostly suburban, admittedly), as well as school yards, commercial/industrial properties and institutional/hospitality.

    And we need to involve people in the production of food, not automate.

    Question this?

    Then, ask yourself: How would you like your current employment ‘automated’?

    Gardening is such a human (and humane) activity – inherently satisfying, healthy and gives people ‘meaning’ to their lives (especially from the soul-destroying of so much modern employment).

    As for vertical farming, if it increases awareness of the importance of food (production) and makes it ‘high profile’, then it will serve a major purpose.

    It is my work to create this new Urban Agriculture as new professional industry.

    I write about Urban Agriculture and the greater aspect of Urban Transformation on my blog:

    Join me in discussion.


    David Nock

  7. victoriainbend October 16, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    You should check out the independent short film called Homegrown about a family who produces 6,000 lbs of organic veggies a year out of their 1/4 acre of land in PASADENA, CA…they supply the area restaurants with the organic food!!!!!

  8. BenGreene October 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Love it! If your interested in following the development of a vertical farm, check us out at We’re building a 4 story urban farm sized to fit in a neighborhood.

  9. BenGreene October 15, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    If your interested in seeing the process of a vertical farm being built, check out my blog, My team and I are building a 4 story vertical farm out of shipping containers. So we are focused on smaller, neighborhood sized farms instead of 50 story megabuildings. Let me know what you think! http://WWW.THEFARMERY.COM

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