– Laura Lundberg
By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the world will be living in urban areas. This means that the amount of arable land for farming is rapidly shrinking. With the population growing, more people are moving out of cities and into open areas. We could soon reach a total population of three billion people residing in these urban areas, and an estimated two billion acres of farming land needed in order to feed everyone. Therefore, the implementation a new method of farming shouldn’t be horizontal. It should be vertical.
Vertical farming has become a popular idea, and it’ simple: create a completely self-sustainable skyscraper in an urban area that will house and grow agriculture crops. Through this method, all the water will be recycled, and a different crop will be grown on each floor of the building. There are several benefits to vertical farming starting with crops being able to grow year round, eliminating the seasonal harvest schedule. Also, because the crops would be grown in a controlled environment, much healthier fruits and vegetables will be produced, meaning fewer pesticides. Vertical farming will also create more jobs as crops will be grown in a shorter amount of time. Finally, this method would let all the current farmland return to its natural state, healing the ecosystem at large. Essentially, this method of farming would yield more benefits than it would obstacles. While it will change the way we have traditionally farmed for centuries, it will provide a better, more sustainable future.
Dickson Despommier, a professor at Columbia University, is one of the many supporters of vertical farming. Despommier recently created a video for GOOD Magazine where he walks the audience through the process of vertical farming, and explains how important it is to consider investing in the idea. Watch the video here!