“Green” Buildings

I came across a very interesting post on the blog Urban Graffiti called "The Walls are Alive," which offers an intriguing view on the future of urban high rise vertical farming.

From the blog:

"Why is sky farming or urban farming such a hot topic?

Because according to predictions, the world population will grow by 3
billion to 9.2 billion people by 2050, requiring 50% more of the
current food supplies. With current farming practices, however, we
would require additional land for farming, even bigger than the size of
Brazil, as currently almost all food-producing land is already being
farmed. Therefore, skywards seems to be the solution."

Of personal interest to me is that according to this blog, one of the major visionaries of this field is Dr. Dickson Despommier, a microbiologist at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, my medical school alma mater. Not only did I have Dr. Despommier as a professor in a course on Parasitology (his book Parasitic Disease, now in its 5th Edition, is one of the few books I still have from medical school – it was a second printing of the first edition), he was also my faculty advisor and a man I respected very much then and still do. The course was one of the most interesting of the entire curriculum.

I suspect that we will be doing more than reading about this in the not too distant future. It would give new meaning to the term "locavore," allowing many urbanites to finally be able to use the term in its truest sense.


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4 Responses to “Green” Buildings

  1. Bruce F says:

    Hi,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on eGullet, the report from the recent Starchefs was outstanding. I also appreciate the restaurant reviews/comments as well. I don’t know if you’ve made it to Schwa in Chicago, but it’s worth the trouble it takes to get a table. I’m lucky enough to live a few blocks away, so it’s easy enough to walk over see if anyone is around.
    I wanted to leave a comment on this post because I’m part of a small group that’s working on rooftop growing on a small, human scale. We’ve been at it for a couple of years and are trying to get others to do it for themselves. Part of that effort involves leaving comments on blogs, with the hope that it’s not seen as obnoxious.
    To that end we’ve put together some information that you might like to see.
    Thanks again for the great content,
    Bruce
    Here’s a couple of links –
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7458996@N06/sets/72157603652656573/
    http://greenroofgrowers.blogspot.com/

  2. John Sconzo says:

    Bruce, thanks for your comments and the links. By no means do I consider your post obnoxious! Indeed, I welcome it. This is a fascinating area and one in which I expect to see a lot of growth. People such as yourself and Dr. Despommier (with whom I have got back in touch with as a result of this) should be applauded for your efforts.
    As for Schwa, I have been lucky enough to dine there but once. The food is wonderful. I have tried to go a few other times, but the demand has been such and my timing poor enough that I have so far been unable to get back in!

  3. Somewhere The Old Foodie had an interesting post about indoor, apartment sized V-shaped shelved gardens only I can’t find it….grrr….
    I agree…this is going to be developing interest for many people and it truly cannot hurt to have people connect at least on some level to their food source.

  4. pat sheerin says:

    Doc,
    Here’s a link to a gentleman farmer (Will Allen) in the midwest who is also working on vertical farming-he just recieved a MacArthur grant. We’re very lucky to have his incredible produce available to us in Chicago. The museum of science and industry also recently had an exhibit focusing on the feasibility of verticality given non-soil growing methods. It will be a new brave world if we are able to harness these technologies without diminishing our environment or the quality of the produce.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/dining/01genius.html?_r=1
    Great blog, BTW.

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