During recent decades, there has been increasing awareness of the development of “agritecture” (“agri”culture + archi“tecture”) as a means to transform and revolutionize the food supply of future cities. The different forms of agritecture include building-integrated agricultural concepts such as vertical farms or indoor farms. In this way, urban food production could take place in proximity to consumers while employing so-called “urban waste” products (such as wastewater, waste heat, and organic waste) as valuable production inputs. Although scholars frequently highlight the potential of vertical farming and other agritecture approaches for Asian megacities, there is still a lack of academic research and completed projects related to this field in China. This study uses a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative and qualitative research in the study location of Shanghai, to reveal the social acceptance of indoor agritecture among consumers and experts. First, to explore the perceptions of consumers, a survey of 713 potential consumers was conducted in Shanghai. Second, these surveys were complemented by 20 expert interviews with academics and practitioners from Shanghai to frame the quantitative research results. Our results revealed that the surveyed consumers’ social acceptance of indoor agritecture and the expectations of the experts are high. Additionally, there is already a high level of demand and a potential market for indoor agritecture in Shanghai. This has been confirmed by the ongoing construction of the first moderate-scale vertical farm and several indoor farms, in combination with the increasing existence of edible landscape approaches and rooftop farms. This development can be viewed as the rise of urban agritecture in Shanghai. The interviews revealed that experts raise more doubts about the economic dimension, whereas its social and ecological dimensions and the contextual framework of indoor agritecture are considered to be positive.
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