Sweden's Cutting-Edge, 17-Story Greenhouse

Julie Ma investigates how one Swedish company is paving the way for a new urban food system that aims to increase one city's self-sufficiency.

After 12 years of planning, Swedish design firm Plantagon has finally begun construction on its first vertical greenhouse. The 17-story structure will grow food year-round for the city of Linköping (pop. 104,000) in the hopes that its model will prove more cost-effective than shipping food in from the countryside.

Designed to address the ecological and economic issues facing an increasingly urban planet, the greenhouse employs various technologies to make the best use of the resources available to it. Central to its design is a "transportation helix" that transports potted vegetables on a rotating conveyor belt for better exposure to sunlight.

Says Plantagon CEO Hans Hassle, "As urban sprawl and lack of land will demand solutions for how to grow industrial volumes in the middle of the city, solutions on this problem have to focus on high yield per ground area used, lack of water, energy, and air to house carbon dioxide."

Plantagon expects to complete construction late 2013.

Full Story: A 'Vertical Greenhouse' Could Make a Swedish City Self-Sufficient

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