Urban farming – examples of the use of urban space
The previous post outlined the idea of urban farming and the benefits it can bring. Let us now present some examples of implementing this type of plantations in urban space.
Invented by Jon Friedman and Brad McNamara, container farms serve as an interesting example of urban farming in practice. With a view to reduce the distance fruit and vegetables need to travel from farm to table, the inventors made use of metal containers from cargo ships. Inside the containers, little gardens were placed, each of them a masterpiece of contemporary “smart farming”. They are individual farms which can be managed online, without leaving the home. Containers provide good conditions for the proper growth of plants all year round. Such isolated crops may help eliminate the need to use pesticides and herbicides, and they are independent of weather conditions, which means that crops are available all year round, providing access to fresh fruit and vegetables.
The vertical kind of urban farms needs to be mentioned since we discuss the topic. The solution is truly creative, and proves excellent especially in the cities where every square meter of space is precious. Availability of acreage creases to be a problem in the case of vertical farms. Those constructions climb up and – depending on the needs and financial resources – they can take up higher and higher floors of buildings. When soil is lacking, vertical farms make the best of the resources provided by water and solar power.
Swedish Plantagon is an example of a vertical farm. The building, which is now under construction, will stand out due to its futuristic style. Plantagon provides space for walks, makes it easy to collect harvest, and use all the space available. Also, thanks to its characteristic shape, the farm will take advantage of maximum exposure to the sun. The building is expected to yield 300-500 tonnes of food per year, using as little as 400 square meters of space. The use of Plantagon is not going to be ruled by profitability. The overall aim is to act for corporate responsibility, and give the youth an opportunity to get involved in sustainable farming.
Unusual solutions provide an opportunity for urban farming to develop
Producing food for the growing population of the world is going to be a prominent topic in expert’s debates. What we need is far-reaching measures taken to satisfy the needs that are growing on a global scale. Agricultural activity of the intensive kind is going to be complemented by alternative solutions offering access to cheap, healthy and organic food.
The tried and tested solutions are the first choice, but let us keep an open mind about new proposals. The existing infrastructure (abandoned buildings, empty containers, old swimming pools) can be used for the creation of environmentally-friendly farms that fit in vast urban landscapes. Unconventional agricultural solutions give hope when we consider the rising needs of the people and the deteriorating condition of the natural environment.