Vertical Farming Innovator Discusses the Future of Food
"By midcentury an estimated 80 percent of the world's population will live in urban areas. Feeding these new city dwellers will require creative ideas to reduce food miles and the associated energy use.
One solution may lie in Dickson Despommier's vertical farm - a 30-story crop powerhouse the size of a Manhattan block that, in theory, could produce enough food for 50,000 people."
Miller-McCune: "What are some of the biggest challenges with this endeavor?"
Dickson Despommier: "Coordinating all these systems into an engineering schema that allows each floor to act independently yet integrated into the flow of water, nutrient delivery, planting, growing and harvesting. All of that needs to be worked out. That's why we're advocating for a prototype vertical farm first to be located perhaps in a very gifted agricultural school's campus, next to a very large city, so you could use the city as your experimental playground for integrating versions of vertical farms into restaurants, schools and hospitals, etc."