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.