Towers of Vegetables

25 April 2015 – According to the book Triumph of the City from Edward Glaeser, much people are going to cities to gain new skills, create new ideas, to collaborate. All this you can find in the city. How funny to bring rural to town.


The idea has already been there in 2008 to build skyscrapers that produce agricultural products. Scott Stringer, a rebel NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) in Manhattan had a city dream, after seeing a picture of a food farm next to the skyline of New York. He knew, there is not much space, “But the sky is the limit.” He was sketching about a vertical farm.

Not only space is the problem, but also the moisture the plants get on traditional fields. Where some plants dies because fast growing plants cover them from sunlight. Also much farmers has a lot of genetically altered food to increase crop yields. This can provoke diseases.

The most important is highrise farms are needed to replace traditional big-field farms to feed the planet. Because some predict a worldwide critical food shortage in 2050.

Now there are everywhere ideas for planting food in skyscrapers. There are severe options. Nowadays farm skyscrapers had become increasingly likely. That’s why now are quite a lot highrise farms options, but I will mention a few.

 1. Plant Production Lab vs. traditional farming environment
The first is the idea of PlantLab, a Dutch agriculture firm. They create an sustainable atmosphere as traditional farming environment, avoiding genetically altered food, in plant production units, spaces made for growing plants and vegetables and each unit can be customized. The atmosphere can be created with infrared light, not much water is needed and PlantLab has a system which analyses each plant to know how to treat different kind of plants and vegetables. Also no more water wastage. These units can be built on unused buildings or on constructions where plants will grow faster and more efficient. (Mic)

plantlab  plantlab 2

2. Green environment in office
The second idea is from Cassidy and Wilson. Their vision is to make workspaces in high buildings more green with plants and grass indoors. On the walls, desks, meeting rooms and offices or with a cubic outside a skyscraper to catch sunlight, which also makes planting employees their own vegetables possible. And to create a healthy atmosphere in offices.  (Fast Co Design)

green office

3. Farm for urban architecture
The third idea is from Vincent Callebaut Architects, with Dragonfly, a metabolic farm for urban architecture. A symbol to rethink the food production in New York and the concept of vertical skyscrapers. The Dragonfly isn’t as a standard vertical skyscraper, but has the shape of a dragonfly. The wing has solar panels on it and the building has three wind turbines. Each floor has a farm with different types of food that can be distributed in a boat to an another place. (Green Buildings NYC)


Trend & Future
In the future there will be a food crisis. With highrise farms, genetically altered food can be avoid and the growing populating can be feed. Also such buildings are creating a more dynamic streetscape and brings a sense of scale in town. It makes a city less boring, because of grit, wealth is boring.

If such buildings will rise everywhere in the future, the traditional farm fields could possibly been replaced by skyscrapers. Because the population is increasing too and there is space needed to build skyscrapers for future population to live in. The buildings need to adapt with the food crisis and a lack of space with the growing population.

Sources: &


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