30 Floors of Farmland, Coming to New York City?

A plan to build a skyscraper in New York City — one that contains 30 stories of farmland — might have a chance of being realized.

The Telegraph reports that city officials are considering a proposal to build a high-rise that could produce food for 50,000 city residents.

The proposed building, designed by Dr. Dickson Despommier of Columbia University’s public health school, is the latest “vertical farm” to be suggested.

Urban farming is undergoing something of a renaissance; Newsdesk has previously reported on programs taking root in South America, Europe and the United States.

However, “vertical farms” remain unrealized, and a report on the NextEnergyNews Web site about a 30-floor agricultural skyscraper planned for Las Vegas turned out to be a hoax.

Despommier, however, is supported by Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer, according to The Telegraph.

They hope their green building will supply food to the urban population cheaply thanks to reduced transportation costs.

Despommier also told The Telegraph the building would also generate its own electricity and produce less waste.

Critics, however, claim that placing the building in prime real estate makes it less cost-efficient than energy-efficient.

— T.J. Johnston/Newsdesk.org

“‘Farm in the sky” planned for New York”
The Telegraph, July 15, 2008

“Look, up in the Sky! Urban Farming Puts Down Roots”
Newsdesk.org, April 30, 2008

2 thoughts on “30 Floors of Farmland, Coming to New York City?

  1. A complimentary approach with vertical farming is sub-acre SPIN-Farming which is now being practiced throughout the U.S. and Canada. SPIN makes it possible to earn $50,000+ from a half acre by growing vegetables on land bases under an acre in size. SPIN farmers utilize relay cropping to increase yield and achieve good economic returns by growing only the most profitable food crops tailored to local markets. SPIN’s growing techniques are not, in themselves, breakthrough. What is novel is the way a SPIN farm business is run. SPIN provides everything you’d expect from a good franchise: a business plan, marketing advice, and a detailed day-to-day workflow. In standardizing the system and creating a reproducible process it really isn’t any different from McDonalds. So by offering a non-technical, easy-to-understand and inexpensive-to-implement farming system, it allows many more people to farm, wherever they live, as long as there are nearby markets to support them, and it removes the two big barriers to entry – sizeable acreage and significant start-up capital. By utilizing backyards and front lawns and neighborhood lots, SPIN farmers are recasting farming as a small business in cities and towns and “right sizing” agriculture for an urbanized century.
    While vertical farming will still take some time to get off the ground, sub-are farming is already showing how agriculture can be integrated into the built environment in an economically viable manner. You can see some of them in action at http://www.spinfarming.com