Sourced from Lifegate
The phenomenon of urban farms took root after the Second World War to feed a population that was exhausted by years of poverty. In the last few years it has been growing exponentially, so much so that “locally sourced” no longer refers to products that come from the surrounding countryside, but in the very place where urban consumers live. The element of verticality was added to the equation, the opportunity and necessity to grow crops on rooftops and inside tall building allows for an efficient use of the limited space found in cities.
In some cases initiatives sprout from local communities, in others, prestigious architecture firms design innovative projects that use technology to incentivise local self-sufficiency from a nutritional standpoint as well as reduce the impact of urban demands on rural areas. Growing crops on terraces and rooftops is convenient not only because of greater solar exposure, but also because particulate matter tends to deposit at lower levels. Here are some of the most advanced rooftop and vertical farms from around the world.
The Sunqiao agricultural district in Shanghai
Whilst large-scale hydroponic cultivation systems and urban farms are still struggling to catch on in the United States, they represent a solution to the problem of a growing population and the consequent need to increase food production in China. Nearly 24 million people live in Shanghai alone and the business capital’s rapid economic growth is threatening an agricultural system that is more limited in scale compared to the Western model, just like in other Chinese metropolises.