Migration to urban areas is becoming quite common and in the next 10-20 years they will house a major chunk of the world population. Space will definitely become a constraint in the already congested cities. The huge number of people will put heavy demand on the resources. Thus, looking for sustainable designs that can support the eco system and economy of this concentrated population set is a must. Food sourced from rural areas would be insufficient to meet the demands of this vast population. A viable answer to the quandary is to expand vertically. Thus, developing self sustaining farms vertically in the overcrowded city will help immensely. A list of some has been provided below.
1. Beehive-Inspired Vertical Farm
Built alongside the Thames and London bridge in the capital city of UK, this structure inspired from a bee hive is a residential building as well as a vertical garden. Conceptualized by Xome Arquitectos, the ecological wonder of this structure does not end here, it can also produce energy and harvest rainwater. The rainwater amassed is used in toilets, bathrooms and for hydroponics. The plants though cultivated at the center of the structure grow out and hang on the outside of the edifice.
2. The Dragonfly
The massive size and unique shape of this structure will command attention and stand out against the New York skyline. There are 132 floors and the width is spread across 600 meters. In this dragonfly shaped structure, there will be 28 farms producing grains, vegetables, dairy, and meat. The steel and glass structure is self sustaining for its energy needs and will be powered by biowaste, wind and solar energy. A brainchild of architect Vincent Callebaut, it will be laid out at the Roosevelt island in Manhatten, New York.
3. Clepsydra Urban Farming
This tall all glass edifice will serve as a farm and either a residential or commercial building. Based on the concept of a greenhouse, the Clepsydra Urban Farming plan houses eco friendly features and can be erected alongside any building like a residential tower, school, shopping mall, office, etc. The construction will have 10 storeyâs and will produce food equivalent to yields of about 6 acres of farms.
4. UPI-2M proposes biofuel generating vertical farms
This tall and curvy building will cultivate algae, which will be used to produce clean and green bio fuel. Farms called Biooctanic will make use of bamboo and algae to generate this fuel. As land space shrinks, cultivating algae vertically comes as a feasible solution. The bio fuel will also encourage oxygen generation, plant growth whilst reducing air pollution.
5. Harvest vertical farm
Not only humans, but animals and plants can also be housed in the tall vertical skyscraper like construction. As land area becomes sparse to meet the requirements of an ever growing population, Romses Architects have come up with a vertical building in Vancouver that will accommodate livestock and fishes. The building powered by green energy will also be used to cultivate food crops.
6. Vertical farm with wind turbines
Built by Dallas Skyfarm, the lower floors will house large trees while the upper level will be used to tend a shallow hydroponic system. Powered by wind energy, the lower levels will actually be used as parks. On the higher floors of the building fruits and vegetables will be farmed.
7. Whittier Organic Food Center
This design has won the coveted Caven Family Traveling Fellowship 2011 which was given to Daniel Toole, a student at the University of Oregon. It not only reduces carbon emissions but also reduces the cost of generating green energy. In this concept, the green house structure has been inverted to utilize wind, solar and hydro energy.
8. Off-shore vertical farm concept
This framework will stand tall over water instead of land and thus will be able to harness energy from water, waves, sun, and wind much better than any land structure can. Australian architect Ruwan Fernando has contemplated building several levels that can be used for different purposes like dwellings and farming. Sea water is desalinized and used while minerals are soaked in to nourish food crops.
9. London Bridge Vertical farming
The London bridge in the future will be transformed into a truly majestic spectacle as it will house farmlands and also solar generators. Thought up by Laurie Chetwood, it will be situated in the Thames and will have a commercial center and organic farms.
10. VEIL-Sustainable vertical farm concept
Victorian Eco Innovation Lab has engineered that vertical farms will require a new set of technology. The large floor plates in the structure are open and will grow food hydroponically. The building also boasts of bio recycling, cafÃ©, research center and an office.