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An organic farm in the middle of a concrete jungle like Manhattan ? - Sounds impossible? Not if you envision a 'vertical' farm, situated in a 30-storey skyscraper - something that would fit right in with the city's beautiful skyline.
While 'vertical farms' have been discussed for years, they have previously been dismissed as too expensive and unpractical. However, Scott Stinger, the president of the borough of Manhattan, seems to think the time has come for these farms to become a reality. Inspired by the designs of Dr. Dickinson Despommier, a professor at the prestigious Columbia University, Mr. Stinger hopes to present his proposal to the Manhattan Mayor's office for funding.
Since Manhattan lacks the real estate for a sprawling farm, he believes vertical is the only way to go. Mr. Despommier's design is quite ambitious and he believes it will yield enough crops, vegetables and fruit to feed over 500,000 people. This would not only help cut energy usage, currently needed to transport the food, but also help with the high food prices. Especially since the tower would not be dependent on seasons and food could be grown all year around in the controlled environment.
Moreover, his towers would have the capability of generating their own energy, recycling waste water and the food could be grown without any pesticides since the environment is so protected from insects and forces of nature.
There is still a lot of research that needs to be done before this becomes a reality, and maybe the first couple of towers will be much smaller than 30 floors, but a lot of people believe that as the world population continues to grow, this may be the only sustainable solution. What do you think? Be sure to let us know by adding your comments below.