Hovering above the adjacent high-rise blocks is New York’s latest trademark – the triangular “Dragonfly”. This futuristic smallholding is a mix of farm, apartments and offices in the middle of the city. It isn’t the only project by which scientists are attempting to secure the long-term food supply for big cities in the future.
Vertical farms of this kind are designed to provide foodstuffs based on intensive use of space, while dispensing with long transport routes. High-tech agriculture is one, perhaps the, answer to overpopulation and the increasing drift to the cities. Numerous projects, from Vincent Callebaut's Dragonfly on Roosevelt Island to the globe-shaped Plantagon Greenhouse, are aiming to stave off the threatening food crisis by maximising productivity. Taking shape on the computer screens of architects are some spectacular edifices: green towers soaring into the clouds, oblique pyramids, and a range of complex constructions that include rooftop fish tanks and wind power plants. Planners around the world are busy working on such urban farms and the first - small-scale - projects have already materialised. In Lower Manhattan, for example, more and more community gardens are appearing; Michelle Obama is growing tomatoes and herbs in the garden of the White House; in Chicago, the mayor isn't the only one cultivating potatoes on the (City Hall) roof; and Tokyo boasts 1,000 square metres of arable land for rice, tomatoes and grains in the subterranean basement of a bank where the money vaults used to be. The future of urban farming is on its way.
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Read the full story by Tobias Moorstedt on international projects to promote city farming in THE MINI INTERNATIONAL