Move Over, Skyscrapers: This "Plantscraper" Can Feed 5,000 A Year

Move Over, Skyscrapers: This "Plantscraper" Can Feed 5,000 A Year

CONTENT SOURCED FROM FUTURISM

As populations grow and cities condense, availability of fresh produce becomes an increasingly dire issue. The concept of “plantscapers” could allow office buildings to feed thousands of people every year. 

From rooftop gardens to “sponge city” architecture, natural elements are finding their way into city buildings around the world. This is helping to alleviate the effects of flooding, providing food for locals, and even improving air quality. As populations swell within congested urban areas,  it will become more challenging to make locally-produced, fresh food available. This is why Plantagon, a Swedish food-tech company, is proposing the idea of “plantscrapers.” 

Plantagon is building the first of these in Linköping, Sweden. These futuristic, green skyscrapers (or “plantscrapers”) are simply large buildings that contain massive indoor farms. The project, which started in 2012, should be completed and ready to open by 2020. 

This building will produce approximately 550 tons of vegetables annually. (Image Credit: Plantagon)

This building will produce approximately 550 tons of vegetables annually. (Image Credit: Plantagon)

This “plantscraper” will be called The World Food Building, and all of its plants will be grown hydroponically — meaning the produce grown in the skyscraper’s farms will take root in a nutrient-rich, water-based solution without any soil. To allow for optimum success, this growth will be controlled almost entirely autonomously: everything from water to nutrition, sunlight, temperature, and air quality will be measured and controlled autonomously through a complex system. 

16-stories tall, this building will have offices integrated with farms. (Image Credit: Plantagon)

16-stories tall, this building will have offices integrated with farms. (Image Credit: Plantagon)

This building will cost $40 million to construct, but you can’t put a price on the long-term payoff: a single building that will be capable of feeding over 5,000 people every year. It’s also a sustainable and local solution, cutting out wasteful transport costs and saving energy while providing quality, healthy produce to urban areas that may not have widespread, reliable access. 

Automated robots will regulate plant growth and health. (Image Credit: Plantagon)

Automated robots will regulate plant growth and health. (Image Credit: Plantagon)

We’ll have to wait and see if The World Food Building will deliver on its promises, though. If the launch is successful, then perhaps other cities will follow suit. As populations increase and resources become increasingly scarce, creative solutions like “plantscapers” could help keep our cities (and our species) flourishing. 

CONGRESSIONAL URBAN AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION ACT COULD HELP ELIMINATE URBAN FOOD DESERTS AND STRENGTHEN URBAN AG

CONGRESSIONAL URBAN AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION ACT COULD HELP ELIMINATE URBAN FOOD DESERTS AND STRENGTHEN URBAN AG

LIVING NEAR PLANTS REVEALS MULTIPLE POSITIVE HEALTH EFFECTS

LIVING NEAR PLANTS REVEALS MULTIPLE POSITIVE HEALTH EFFECTS