There's a new show on ABC radio national called "Future Tense" with Antony Funnell. He features subjects that address where we are going in the global response to environmental and sustainability issues. It's interesting that yesterday's blog was about vertical gardening and today's is the same idea on a much bigger scale.
Antony's guest, Oliver Foster, has designed a 12-story vertical farm for Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast. You can read more about it on the website at http://www.verticalfarm.com/Default.aspx
Here is an extract from the web, explaining the reason behind the project -
"By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?
A Potential Solution: Farm Vertically
The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes, a wide variety of herbs, and other produce has been in vogue for some time. What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another 3 billion people. An entirely new approach to indoor farming must be invented, employing cutting edge technologies. The Vertical Farm must be efficient (cheap to construct and safe to operate). Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world's urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming."
Whenever I hear about projects like this one I feel encouraged to think that maybe, with a bit of lateral thinking, we can find creative solutions to the problems that the planet faces today.
Page to follow.