The population of the world is expected to double by 2050. This fact does not only raise interrogations for the future of food production and the increasing necessity of land cultivation, it also creates concerns towards endangering the future of natural resources and biodiversity.
Today, food is longer being produced where it is being consumed. Vegetables sometimes travel to other continents to be processed or even simply packed before returning for consumption. The transport infrastructure for refrigerated food products, besides being costly, is strongly energy un-efficient and is an important contribution to global warming.
Can agriculture make its way into the city? Can it integrate our urban fabric despite its apparent necessity to occupy large horizontal surfaces little available in the economically-driven metropolitan densities?
Agriculture 2.0 designed by Appareil attempts to propose an answer to these questions. It consists of a generative system for the design of the infrastructure for urban vertical farming, which can be used in any city of the world.
It is defined as a parametric model which necessitates three pieces of information as inputs to produce the local design for the vertical infrastructure:
- The climatic conditions of the city in which it is to be inserted.
- The area of the city, in m², to be covered in vegetable production.
- The specific site on which the tower is to be constructed.
The building itself is composed of a support structure for plant incubators which travel down the full height of the tower. Their journey last the necessary time of the plants’ growth from crop to maturity. 45 days in the case of the lettuce. The incubator is an expandable 4-8 m² closed pool which contains a controlled environment collecting rain water, regulating sunlight, temperature, air quality and CO2 concentration. Although limited in terms of species, the agricultural production include most lightweight crops such as lettuce, tomato, peppers, eggplant, marrow… In its largest and most dense version, a single tower can reach a production rhythm of 42 kilograms of vegetables per day, which can cover a city area of approximately 1.5 km².
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