When Columbia professor Dickson Despommier set out to solve America's food, water, and energy crises, he didn't just think big - he thought up.
Despommier's stroke of genius, The Vertical Farm, has excited scientists, architects, and politicians around the globe.
These farms, grown inside skyscrapers, would provide solutions to many of the serious problems we currently face, including: allowing year-round crop production; providing food to areas currently lacking arable land; immunity to weather-related crop failure; re-use of water collected by de-humidification of the indoor environment; new employment opportunities; no use of pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides; drastically reduced dependence on fossil fuels; no crop loss due to shipping or storage; no agricultural runoff; and, many more.
Vertical farming can be located on abandoned city properties, creating new urban revenue streams.
They will employ lots of skilled and unskilled labour.
They can be run on wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal energy.
They can be used to grow plants for pharmaceutical purposes or for converting grey water back into drinking water.