10 February, 2017

By Vlorjan Paqarizi

The population is growing every year. According to UN in world in 2050 will be 9.7 billion people and that means third more mouths to feed1. The three main issues that the world will face in the future are lack of food, lack of drinking water, deforestation and global warming. The question that addresses all the humanity is: How to provide water and food for all these people? The arable land required to feed 6.8 billion people is 17,840,000 km2!2 According to the UN in 2050 in the world will live 9.7 billion2 and 70% of people will reside in urban areas, according to the World Health Organization. Therefore the arable land for producing food for these people is huge, insufficient and not a sustainable solution.

Providing food in the best way possible, with healthy and quality food, without damaging the environment, in the near future as the most sustainable solution, including many other benefits, is vertical farming joined with housing forming in this way a vertical ecosystem. Vertical farming uses 96% less land, 98% less water and can win up to 17 vintages per year. In an area of 4 m2 can be planted 1016-20000 plants, so the vertical farming for the development of agriculture requires less resources than classical ways of cultivating food, therefore joining housing and food in heights is the solution for these problems in the future according to Dickson D Despommier, a microbiology professor and a top proponent of vertical farming. It brings man to nature and nature in the highs, creating in this way a vertical urbanism. Besides food, the water will be provided, through the recycling of used water. The main advantages of vertical farm are: Less use of land and water; No agriculture runoff; year round crop production; No agro-chemicals, No fossil fuels; more control of food quality; new employment opportunities; purification of grey water into drinking water. Therefore, merging vertical farm with apartments will solve many problems not as only a futuristic solution, but also as a real solution that is already applied in some countries. As an example can be mentioned the vertical farm of lettuce in South Korea.3 Another great example to mention is the vertical farm in Singapore, which is built. This soil based vertical farm produces one ton of vegetables every other day and is five to ten times more productive than a regular farm.4 Also, there are a lot of architectural projects for vertical farming. The given examples above will provide an overview of how practically the vertical farming can be realized in the future and how close this concept is for us to use as a solution in all over the world. To achieve this kind of project as a master thesis crucial is to have interdisciplinary collaboration, use of modeling techniques and the use of software. To be realistic or to come with new forms of vertical farming methods key part is lab experiments.

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