If the world is to sustainably support 7+ billion people, cities are going to play a huge role in making that happen. Cities must shift from being consumers of the outside world to being able to provide most of the resources for their inhabitants. Each building must become a micro power plant using renewable energy. Transportation must focus on improved mass transit options and a shift from an automobile-centered to a bicycle-centered system. Above all, cities will need to be able to grow nearly all their own food, on rooftops, in apartment windows, in vacant lots, in vertical (indoor) farms, in food forests, and almost every place imaginable both to increase resiliency and cut down on food miles.
Food ought to be abundant. Abundant food is a good way to eradicate hunger from the planet. Why wouldn’t we name our streets after different fruits and vegetables? Apple Street, Pear Avenue, Asparagus Road, Strawberry Lane? Once we reduce the amount of public space devoted to cars, we could irrigate and green our landscape. Hungry? Let’s go for a walk and eat fresh food growing on our streets. In many places, food doesn’t grow year round. Technologies such as hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaculture, vertical farming, and waste-to-energy will allow food to grow during the off season.
Creating abundance is something that is the antithesis of a money-making venture. Just try to sell sand to someone at the beach. The current system of food productions is a profitable food system because food is scarce (see food deserts). After all, the world produces enough calories to amply feed every human being on the planet, but half of it is wasted while the other half starves. New sustainable economic systems that can manage abundance must be developed in order to realize a world in which everyone can re-establish an intimate relationship with their food again.
Vertical Farming In Singapore
With the rapid trend in urbanization, we will need to figure out ways to grow at least some of our food in cities. This pioneer in vertical farming has discovered a resource-efficient way to grow organic vegetables indoors.
Edible City (~ 3min)
This cool animation provides suggestions on how to turn your city into an edible one.
Rooftop Farming Growing In Megacities Around The World
Nestled amid the skyscrapers, rooftop farming has taken off in Hong Kong, offering urban gardeners in one of the densest cities in the world an ecological alternative to the supermarket.
Indoor “vertical” farming is a hot trend in the upper Midwest and other parts of the world, though some farms have had more success than others. Now one indoor farm is taking it to new levels in a giant warehouse just outside Chicago.
A Guerilla Gardener In South Central LA
Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”
Growing A Garden In Your Apartment
Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food (in her tiny apartment). So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles — researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system. Call it distributed DIY. And the results? Delicious.
Forget meadows. Seattle’s new park will be filled with edible plants, and everything from pears to herbs will be free for the taking.