With visions of a reforested America in which food is grown locally year round, vertical farms aim to address many of the problems facing mankind, including global warming, runoff, desertification, water pollution, and rapid urbanization.
"Dr. Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental sciences and microbiology at Columbia University, believes that 'vertical farm' skyscrapers could help fight global warming."
"Imagine a cluster of 30-story towers on Governors Island or in Hudson Yards producing fruit, vegetables, and grains while also generating clean energy and purifying wastewater. Roughly 150 such buildings, Despommier estimates, could feed the entire city of New York for a year. Using current green building systems, a vertical farm could be self-sustaining and even produce a net output of clean water and energy."
"Despommier began developing the vertical-farming concept six years ago (his research can be found at verticalfarm .com), and he has been contacted by scientists and venture capitalists from the Netherlands to Dubai who are interested in establishing a Center for Urban Sustainable Agriculture, either independently or within Columbia. He estimates it could take a working group of agricultural economists, architects, engineers, agronomists, and urban planners five to ten years to figure out how to marry high-tech agricultural practices with the latest sustainable building technology."