April 19 2012

Vertical Farming in Los Angeles, California: Future Skyscraping Architecture

Vertical FarmingThe sky is limitless, they say. So if there’s no space to your left, or to your right, or below, then look up!

Land, limited in the City of Los Angeles, is slowly becoming a commodity. And as new land becomes occupied by never-ending construction projects, it’ll eventually vanish so we need start thinking straight, or “vertically” I should say.

Land may dissipate, but space is limitless, so architects must eventually consider accommodating buildings to vertically grow crops.

More than one-third of the world is being used to grow crops, and the Earth is rapidly running out of fertile land. And Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental health at Columbia University, has already acknowledged this inevitable feat.

Additionally, according to an article in Time magazine, Valcent, a tech company based in El Paso, Texas, tests the process of vertical farming where they use hydroponic greenhouse methods to grow upward rather than out. The result means saving land, allowing farmers to irrigate and fertilize with far less waste, and food grown locally and sustainably.

Vertical FarmingThe magic lies in potted crops growing in rows on clear vertical panels that rotate on a conveyor belt, moving them to receive the precise amount of light and nutrients. According to Valcent, this optimization grows 15 times as much lettuce per acre as on a normal farm, using 5% of the water conventional agriculture consumes.

If architects, urban planners and engineers can create efficient compact homes, then why not consider other creative architecture, such as this?

A flaw in this beautiful plan, as Despommier concedes, would be cost, but are there not already millions of dollars being spent on new construction anyway, particularly on renovations of current buildings and/or parks that most likely did not need altering in the first place?

Credit: Images and data linked to sources.

Benjamin Ha

Benjamin Ha recently graduated as an Honors Scholar from New York University with a Bachelor’s in English and American Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Prior to Global Site Plans, Ben’s experiences revolved primarily around issues of public health. After realizing that the environment plays a critical role in the effects of public health, his interests gravitated toward understanding the interaction between the social and natural environment. In the near future, he hopes to pursue a Master’s in Environmental Science after obtaining a Global Sustainability Certification at UCLA. Ben is originally from the Bay Area in California, and now resides in Los Angeles.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at 3:28 pm and is filed under Architecture, Environment, Environmental Design, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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