Urban Farming May Finally Become A Reality

By Meera Dolasia on March 2, 2012

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According to the experts at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, world population will balloon to over 9.1 million people, by the year 2050. While feeding everybody is bound to be a challenge, it will be even more so, given that over 70 percent of them will be residing in cities. While urban farming inside specially created greenhouses has been suggested for many years, it has never been close to becoming a reality - Until now.

Two weeks ago, a Swedish-American company called Plantagon finally broke ground in Linkoping, Sweden, for what is slated to become the world's first commercial urban farming greenhouse. The massive skyscraper, which will be called the International Center of Excellence for Urban Agriculture, is being designed to not only grow fresh vegetables and fruit, but also, be a place for researchers from all over the world to exchange ideas and test new methodologies to improve urban farming yields.

Designed to blend in with the architecture around, the Plantascraper will be no ordinary farm. The sleek structure with glass walls will be positioned to take full advantage of free solar energy from the sun. Inside, low maintenance vegetables and fruits will be planted in pots that are placed on three parallel conveyer belts. These will be constantly in motion to ensure that the plants receive sunlight on all sides. As they grow, the conveyer belts will slowly begin to migrate them toward a central core and then to the bottom of the building, by which time, they should be ready for harvesting.

Plant residue, manure and any unusable fruits and vegetables will be converted to biogas to fuel the heating and cooling systems of the greenhouse. In addition to that, the engineers envision integrating the building in a way that will help clean up the city air by absorbing the carbon dioxide emitted from the surrounding buildings.

Even the planned commercial area around the greenhouse will be developed using the latest technologies so that it is extremely energy efficient and as 'green' as can be. In addition to that, the fact that the vegetables will not have to be brought in from farms that lie hundreds of miles away, will also help reduce the carbon footprint.

If everything goes according to schedule, the Plantascraper will be ready to begin 'farming' within a short 12-16 months. Once all the kinks are removed, the company plans to take this concept all over the world, building structures that blend in and help clean up the environment, and most importantly provide a solution to what could become an acute food crises within the next 40 years.

What's most interesting about Plantagon is that it is not the brainchild of some giant corporations, but a collaboration between Swedish social entrepreneur Hans Hassle, and New York-based Native American Tribe, Onondaga Nation. The two have been trying to make this dream a reality since 2008 and their perseverance has finally paid off. Hopefully, some large corporations will take the cue from these visionaries and follow their lead.

While the architects seems to have changed the design for the Linkoping Plantascraper from the circular globe depicted in the video, to a vertical skyscraper, their vision, remains the same.

Resources: thecreatorsproject.com, inhabitat.com, treehugger.com,wikipedia.com,plantagon.com

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140 Comments
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  • kate3/20/2012
    the videio is boring!!!!!!
    • Cristian N3/20/2012
      i think that the sphere one is better because the earth rotates so it will get more sunlight.
      • kikibiki
        kikibiki3/21/2012
        SO GREEN!
        • shikha51:D3/21/2012
          say watttttt!!!!!!
          • SAD3/28/2012
            scientists also say that all species of fish exept for squid and stuff like that will all be extinct by 2050.(because of sushi)
            • Qwerty3/29/2012
              Soooooo cool this is my current event!!!!!!
              • chemicnova4/2/2012
                *chin is touching the floor with mouth hanging wide open*
                • Daisy4/11/2012
                  I cant believe how different the world will be in our future.....i just hope everything will be ok and have a good life with or without plantation.
                  • DB4/26/2012
                    The whole idea is amazing. After reading this, I feel like I have to do something for the environment. Not only is this article informative, it is persuading. I'd like to visit Sweden now!
                    • Alexandra10/9/2013
                      Cool

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