Researchers predict that a total of two-thirds of the globe will live in urban developments by 2030. The sci-fi pictures of major metropolis hubs are starting to become reality. We just hope self-driving cars become the standard by the time we reach that realization, because I’m not sure the world can handle even more terrible drivers on even more crowded roads, but I digress. We’re here to talk about how we’re going to feed all these people that are stuck inside these cities of concrete, glass, and metal.
The only viable solution to this urban growth is urban agriculture. Thankfully, we have some brilliant minds who are hard at work to show us that we don’t need to dedicate half the planet’s land to farming just to feed the booming population, we have all the space we need on our rooftops and cityscapes.
Don’t believe it? Here’s a few places that prove urban farming is more than just a fad, it’s a way of life (and living) for their communities:
1 Food Field, Detroit, Michigan
If you need proof of concept, you don’t get any more real than Detroit, when it comes to a population that wants and needs the means to be self-sustaining and has limited resources to choose from. Food Field is a project that has transformed an abandoned elementary school lot to a fully-fledged urban farm. This is a direct reply to the corruption, abuse, and neglect the residents have received from both corporate and government entities.
Food Field provides fresh foods to community residents and local restaurants with the help from volunteers. This is an example of a community that is taking matters into their own hands to help create something better for themselves and their future. Food Field is also building up their infrastructure to help raise fresh seafood via aquaponics systems.
2 Sky Greens, Singapore
Singapore doesn’t have the luxury of having large swathes of their country dedicated to agriculture, like many countries in the West. It is because of this, that the average person only eats about 7% locally grown produce. Sky Greens is changing the way Singaporeans eat by building highly efficient, compact, and healthy vertical gardens. These vertically stacked urban farms waste no water, as it is distributed evenly throughout each layer of produce.
Sky Greens is able to produce 5-10x the amount of produce, per-capita of land, while using less water and less energy. This is obviously one of the most promising solutions to urban farming for the future, producing healthier and accessible food for everyone.
3 The Delaney Community Farm, Denver, CO
This small farm allows everyone the opportunity to access fresh produce, no matter what their income or social status. They supply produce for approx. 500 families via Community Service programs and Federal cooperation for WIC families to obtain fresh food in exchange for just an hour of work every week. This farm acts as a valuable resource to the community, not only with the food they harvest, but also with their teachings of how to farm and cook healthy at home.