Dickson Despommier Discusses Vertical Farming at TEDxWarwick 2013

Dickson Despommier talks about the advantages of vertical farming.

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?

via The Vertical Farm Project

  • wcarver

    This amounts to creating more “land ” or acreage. We have already done that with population in high rise apartments – there is no reason we can’t farm vertically. Further, an agricultural and residential combination would give a small connection between the residents and the food they eat.

  • echar

    I imagine a Venus Project type setup. http://www.thevenusproject.com/

    The vertical farm in the center, with pertinent building surrounding. All of which use the bio fuel grown and harvested from the central building. They can be modular, like the Buckminster Fuller’s dymaxion approach. There can be a bakery, a super market, a diner, etc.

    Perhaps even robots, technicians, and manual labor can co-exist in a man made ecological system.

    Why are these not widely used?

    • kowalityjesus

      wat? bio fuel grown inside? That makes about as much sense as using automobiles to generate electricity.

      • echar

        I know right? It’s crazy beans… Them “rich bastards” that created the green movement got us hook line and sinker. Pshaw!

        • kowalityjesus

          Erm, are you being sarcastic? I have a hard time understanding you. I think you have some very interesting information in your original comment, but I have a hard time digesting it! Is the Venus Project a blueprint for utopia like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City?

          I think the reason we don’t often try these kinds of projects is maybe either a lack of willing participants or a lack of necessary capital from fuddy-duddy wealthy people (not all of them are fuddy-duddies really, although I am surprised how many entrepreneurial billionaires are more concerned with enjoying themselves in this world than creating a legacy and building up heavenly treasure).

          That being said, if we were going to get serious about these kinds of communities, we could easily multiply the ‘conventional’ carrying capacity of the earth many times over…into the tens of billions!

          • echar

            Yes, I am being sarcastic. Not really towards you. I was mostly taking a jab at the fearful vision deficient people. Not very mature of me, but whatevs.

            I agree, the Venus project is a fantastic plan. Sadly it would take re-education or people being born into it to work, I think. I feel the shift to abundance is overpowered scarcity at this time.

            I wish I was a billionaire, because I would put money into the technologies with social returns.

  • kowalityjesus

    I can see the bankers and barons saying “that will never make money” or “it will be decades before that makes money.” Why would the super-wealthy want to make more money; what is so terrible about unprofitability if it accords with the collective good? Install a vomitorium and go to hell.