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Buildings 2018, 8(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8020024

The Vertical Farm: A Review of Developments and Implications for the Vertical City

Department of Urban Planning and Policy, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Vertical Urbanism)
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Abstract

This paper discusses the emerging need for vertical farms by examining issues related to food security, urban population growth, farmland shortages, “food miles”, and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Urban planners and agricultural leaders have argued that cities will need to produce food internally to respond to demand by increasing population and to avoid paralyzing congestion, harmful pollution, and unaffordable food prices. The paper examines urban agriculture as a solution to these problems by merging food production and consumption in one place, with the vertical farm being suitable for urban areas where available land is limited and expensive. Luckily, recent advances in greenhouse technologies such as hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics have provided a promising future to the vertical farm concept. These high-tech systems represent a paradigm shift in farming and food production and offer suitable and efficient methods for city farming by minimizing maintenance and maximizing yield. Upon reviewing these technologies and examining project prototypes, we find that these efforts may plant the seeds for the realization of the vertical farm. The paper, however, closes by speculating about the consequences, advantages, and disadvantages of the vertical farm’s implementation. Economic feasibility, codes, regulations, and a lack of expertise remain major obstacles in the path to implementing the vertical farm. View Full-Text
Keywords: advanced cultivation methods; innovative technologies; efficient food production; urban population increase; sustainability advanced cultivation methods; innovative technologies; efficient food production; urban population increase; sustainability
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Al-Kodmany, K. The Vertical Farm: A Review of Developments and Implications for the Vertical City. Buildings 2018, 8, 24.

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