Vertical Farming (02:54)
The global population has grown by five billion since 1940. Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier and his students developed the idea of moving rooftop gardens inside unoccupied buildings to hypothetically feed Manhattan residents. He discusses the looming food crisis.
Square Roots Farm (02:51)
Tobias Peggs and Kimbal Musk founded a Brooklyn start-up, growing vegetables in shipping containers under controlled environmental conditions. Peggs discusses investment opportunities in local food production.
Alternatives to the Industrial Food System (02:37)
Many Americans are disconnected from their food sources with negative health and environmental consequences; demand for local food is growing. Square Roots Farm uses hydroponics to customize growing conditions for different crops. Peggs believes indoor cultivation technology will soon improve.
Indoor Farming Possibilities (04:18)
Despommier points out that outdoor farming is inherently unnatural. The industry will respond to consumer demand for locally grown, fresh produce; he advocates vertical farming on city peripheries. Visit a Whole Foods with a rooftop hydroponic garden supplying greens.
A Newark start-up has converted several abandoned buildings to grow 90,000 kilos of vegetables annually. They have 130 times more output than an outdoor farm, substituting spectrum for sunlight and micronutrients for soil. Learn about water and energy savings.
Building Consumer Trust (03:00)
AeroFarms founder Marc Oshima argues that locally grown produce addresses nutritional and environmental issues raised by food transportation miles. Daniel Rosenberg discusses food safety measures. Despommier believes vertical farming solves food security, sovereignty, safety, and sustainability challenges.
Dutch Agricultural Technology (05:12)
There is insufficient farmland to feed nine billion people. The Netherlands has indoor growing expertise and China is investing in vertical farming. Chinese visitors tour a greenhouse; Jan-Willem van der Schans says the Netherlands will export knowledge and technology, rather than products.
Organizing Food Supply Near Cities (02:26)
Global trade is becoming more vulnerable and risky; London and Moscow are investing in urban farms. Dutch tomato grower Ad van Adrichem exports mostly to the U.K. Tour his greenhouses and learn about precision growing technology; vertical farming applies more to lettuces.
Vertical Growth Considerations (01:54)
The Netherlands' Westland region was developed to transport produce to cities. As it became a residential area, planners separated greenhouses from neighborhoods. Dutch people are skeptical about bringing agriculture back to the city.
Urban Farmers (02:14)
Entrepreneurs grow produce on the roof of a Phillips factory in The Hague. Van der Schans discusses prospects of redeveloping the Westland for mixed industrial and residential usage, including vertical farming.
Plantagon Dubai (02:20)
Architects, internet pioneers, investors, and governments are interested in vertical farming in areas traditionally inhospitable to agriculture. Hans Hassle and Soud Ba'alawy are developing agricultural technology for skyscrapers. Hassle discusses future land and water shortages.
Dubai Symbiotic City (03:18)
A neighborhood design incorporates food production in bio domes that recycle water and reduce food transportation miles. However, Hassle would remove soil from the system. He discusses food security aspects of urban farming, particularly in city-states.
Vertical Farm Design (03:50)
Hassle shares his idea for a high-rise, multifunctional building housing offices and crops. He predicts future cities will be planned around food production, including recycling water and nutrients. City planners will have a major implementation role.
Philip's Academy (03:44)
Tour a Newark high school where students grow food for daily lunches on a rooftop garden and in hydroponic platforms. In an urban food desert, students learn social and life skills through vegetable production and meal preparation.
Ecological Recovery (02:29)
Converting urban populations to an urban food supply frees land for reforestation and CO2 sequestration. Despommier calls for a multi-system approach to adaptation.
Credits: Rise of Vertical Farming (00:31)
Credits: Rise of Vertical Farming
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