Vertical farming, a solution to overcrowding

Currently, the world's urban population reaches 3.3 billion. This figure is destined to reach 5 billion by 2025. With wild urbanization, we often hear about land consumption and subtraction of land fromagriculture; in this context could findfertile groundtherevertical cultivation. Therevertical cultivationcould lead to substantial urban renewal together with a more sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply: an active harvest 365 days a year and zero kilometer food for all.

L'vertical farmingit's all the rage these days. Architects and engineers develop spectacular buildings that promise to produce food along the entire length of the exterior walls. In Switzerland, for example, they are designing a 177-meter skyscraper which, at the end of the works, will give ample space tovertical cultivation:occupants will have the opportunity to grow green leafy vegetables at the edge of each floor.


Therevertical cultivation,theoretically, it could be a solution to the subtraction of horizontal soil from theagricultureconventional, however, in practical terms, there are many problems to be solved: in the city, energy is expensive and thevertical cropsthey need electricity. This need is dictated above all by the problem of lighting. When you try acultivateplants stacked on top of each other, different shaded areas are created: the upper plants shade the lower ones.

To get around this obstacle it will be necessary to add artificial light or develop reflective structures capable of providing thevertical cropsthe amount of light needed for growth. The energy debate about the efficiency ofvertical cropsis very much alive, in fact, among the supporters ofvertical farmingthere are those who say that using the latest technologies, with only one hectare of vertical surface it is possible tocultivatethe amount of food obtained withcropshorizontal 20 hectares of land, thus, climbing thirty floors could feed 50,000 people!


In contrast to this data, there are the price estimates. The total cost to set up onevertical cultivationof this kind amounts to 83.7 million dollars, money spent on a containment sub-structure, an HVAC system with a cooling tower, a cogeneration plant, a photovoltaic plant for the production of 800 kWh of energy per day, a lighting with water cooling, energy infrastructures for the automatic management and optimization of resources, hydroponic systems, water recovery and recycling system, offices and ancillary laboratories.

Video: Why Vertical Farming Wont Save the Planet (January 2022).