In the race to insure food for ever-larger urban populations, designers and architects are working on vertical farms inside cities.
As I have written about both Vancouver's Harvest Tower and Dubai's Food City, New York City is looking to join the club in a big way.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures has designed the Dragonfly building, based on two vertical towers. According to World Architectural News and Fast Company.com:
"Callebaut's 132 floor, 600-meter-high farm contains 28 different agricultural fields for fruit, vegetable, meat and dairy production. The fields are surrounded by houses, offices, and research laboratories laid out over several floors. The building, which is completely powered by solar and wind power, also purifies liquid waste into water suitable for crops and composts solid waste for fertilizers."
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Although there isn't sufficient surface area for a traditional green roof, the benefits of a green roof are captured in the grey water recycling as well as the CO2 reduction by the plant life.
The core of the building is a greenhouse, in the shape of a dragonfly's wing. This core supports the weight of the building and allows sunlight to pass through the building.
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The significance of urban farming is to provide sufficient agricultural goods to the city while limiting the shipping traffic traditionally associated with feeding it. There is an opinion that reducing the need for rural farm land will allow that land to revert to its original state.
While it is clear that the Dragonfly concept isn't capable of being built today, the concepts included in the design can influence future buildings.