Farms in the sky: a new solution to keep our cities well fed
AprilliDesignStudio
Image: Aprilli Design Studio

As the world’s population numbers continue to rise, scientists and engineers face a huge challenge—developing new agricultural solutions.

Professor Dickson Despommier thinks the answer is literally in the sky and has developed the Vertical Farm, i.e. high-rise agricultural structures to feed urban areas.

Based on Despommier’s ideas, the design group Aprilli has created the Urban Skyfarm concept, which is planned to be built in downtown Seoul.

Korea’s capital city runs along the Cheonggyechon stream, meaning it has a steady supply of water that can be used to water the tree-like structure. Each of its components—root, trunk, branch and leaves—has its own structural characteristics and is suitable for different farming conditions. Users can plant various types of vegetables and fruits, including leafy greens, root vegies and even apple trees.

Skyfarm will use hydroponic farming and will receive supplementary heating and lightning. It will use mostly renewable energy produced on site and will also have public spaces, including a farmers' market.

“Together with the Cheonggyecheon stream, the Urban Skyfarm will become a nice destination place for people seeking for fresh food, air and relaxation within their busy urban life,” explain their creators in their project abstract.

Suddenly the future of megacities doesn’t look so bleak!

In this 19-minute TedXTalk, Despommier discusses the Vertical Farm concept. Watch it if you want to learn more about his ideas: