Home Page Home Page Home Page

The Vertical Farm

The current 3.3 billion global urban population is expected to grow to 5 billion by 2025... Today our agricultural footprint is the size of South America...what will it be tomorrow...

vertical farm

EDITT Tower (“Ecological Design In The Tropics”) is being built in Singapore with the financial support of the National University. The 26 story tower will have over half its surface area covered by organic local vegetation. Solar panels will generate up to 40% of the building’s energy demands, and human waste will also be converted into an energy source via an on-site bio-gas facility. The Architecture firm TR Hamzah & Yeang is constructing the building using recycled and recyclable materials when possible!

vertical farm

skyscraper farm

Mithun Architects in Seattle designed a "Center for Urban Agriculture" -- an integration of crops and livestock onto a 7.2 acre urban plot.

urban farm
Buckminster Fuller Challenge

Clepsydra Urban Farm by Bruno Viganò & Florencia Costa. The 1500 sq ft footprint urban lot prototype (10-story) produces the equivalent to 6 acres of farmland for certain crops or 40 tons of tomatoes a year. The prefab structural frame is built with mechanically assembled steel rods needing no welding, enable fast mounting, disassembling and maintenance operations. The enclosure is made of a transparent, resistant structural plastic membrane (ETFE). Clepsydra can be composed into multiple kits creating sustainable neighborhoods and cities.

urban farm

WORKac’s version of vertical farming combines farmers’ housing in a series of stepped terraces with a farmer’s market and public space below.

urban vertical farm

An Urban Garden. Lucie Sadacova's project aims to bring an innovative solution by designing multileveled vertical urban garden 'allotments' which in turn make use of derelict or underused spaces. Eventual multiple functions of the building, that is open to the public, include an interpretation centre for schools and seasonal use for those affected by S.A.D (Seasonal affective disorder). For more:

vertical agriculture

Höweler + Yoon Architecture and Squared Design Lab proposes to build a vertical algae-powered bioreactor on the downtown Boston Filene's site.
The structure would be made of prefabricated modules, or "eco-pods," containing materials to manufacture biofuels. The robotic arms would reconfigure the pods to optimize growing conditions.

vertical farms

TheEuromediterranee” project is a proposed vertical village for the city of Marseilles. By: Stéphanie Durniak, Baptiste Franceschi, Anthony Frutoso, Caroline Mangin.

vertical farming

The 'first' vertical farm design -- by Chris Jacobs.

skyscraper farm

Eco-Laboratory by Weber Thompson. A self sustaining, diverse ecological system. See their site.

vertical farm

Gordon Graff's plans for a 58-story agricultural tower called the Sky Farm in Toronto. Its 8 million square feet of growing area, equal to over 180 acres, has the potential to provide enough food for 35,000 citizens per year.

urban agriculture

The Living Tower by SOA Architects. A proposal for a Parisian tower dedicated to agriculture. Lots more at the architects website.

vertical park

The Vertical Park by architects Remigiusz Brodzinski, Agnieszka Lepecka, Pawel Pawlowski, Michal Stys and Monika Tutaj-Wojnowska. A place to hear birds chirping, the rustling of leaves and the sound of your heart beat on the 30th floor. Source

vertical farm

Rogers Marvel Architects' 'Sustainable Yard-Scraper' a proposal for the redevelopment of the Brooklyn House of Detention. Stacked brownstones each with their own yard. A vertical garden is included in the building design. Source

vertical farm

Australian architect Ruwan Fernando's open vertical farming design consists of five stacked U-shaped structures allowing maximum sunlight and ventilation. The tower is meant to be placed in shallow water and uses tidal, wind and solar energy sources. Source

vertical farm

vertical farm

Behold Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut's Dragonfly proposal for Roosevelt Island in New York! The multi-use building is designed to be completely self sufficient with 132 floors of residential and urban farming space with enough room to raise cattle and poultry and 28 different types of crops, all within a controlled energy producing environment.

vertical farm

vertical farm

Architects Michaela Dejdarova and Michal Votruba have proposed a sustainable vertical farm for the city of Prague that is intended to be a communal farm for the city. The modular structure consists of a cluster of tetrahedrons grouped to create an exoskeleton, which further supports hundreds of green terraces for agriculture.

vertical farm

UK architects James Murray and Tobey Lloyd propose a series of vertical hydroponic towers for Syria utilizing but ten percent of the water needed in regular farming. A waffle structure is the anchor for growth pods.

vertical farm

vertical farm

vertical farm

The Living Skyscraper: Farming the Urban Skyline by Blake Kurasek. Lots more info here...

vertical farm

urban farm

'Urban Farm, Urban Epicenter' by Jung Min Nam. See source for many more pics.

urban vertical wetland

vertical farming

vertical farm

Aberrant Agriculture by Scott Johnson. Scott chose to mimic a sea cucumber. The structure combines vertical farming, residential, hotel, and retail functions into a self-sufficient whole.

vertical farm

vertical farm architecture

vertical farming

hydroponic skyscraper

BrightFarm Systems and Kiss + Cathcart Architects are currently developing the first prototype Greenmarket system (hydroponic food production facility) to be built at Masdar City, in Abu Dhabi. This prototype system will act as a research and demonstration center for subsequent GreenMarket systems. The GreenMarket utilizes BrightFarm Systems pioneering rooftop and facade mounted, sustainable greenhouse designs, to integrate hydroponic food production into civic buildings. The layers of vegetation encased in the walls of the building provide shade for the building interior.

hydroponic tower

Hydroponic and offices -- mixed use. SOA Architects, France. PDF Press Pack.

aquaculture and hydroponics

The Aquaponic Merry-Grow-Round by Graham Murdoch. A loop system combining aquaculture and hydroponics is called “aquaponics.” The fish waste becomes plant fertilizer, while the plants clean the dirty water.

21 seconds of the Aquaponic Merry-Grow-Round.


landscape house


Mass Institute of Technology
Material Mosaic Triplex 1 Part Alive + 1 Part Energy Producer.
Mixed prefab construction with living surfaces. Wind Quills, generate power using piezoelectric cells (an MIT invention). Solar heating and water collection and re-use.

Food Print Manhattan - This says it all... © The Why Factory.


Advantages of Vertical Farming

1. Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)

2. No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests

3. All Vertically Farmed (VF) food is grown organically: no herbicides or pesticides.

4. VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling gray water

5. VF adds energy back to the grid via methane generation from composting non-edible parts of plants and animals

6. VF dramatically reduces fossil fuel use (no tractors, plows, shipping.)

Where to Start:

Valcent Products Inc. is a leader in the development and manufacturing of commercial vertical crop technology for global markets. Valcent is a pioneer and leader in eco-technology with its core research and development in sustainable, renewable, and intensive agricultural products. For more information, visit: and

BrightFarm Systems is a commercial design consultancy providing technical services in support of rooftop greenhouses and building integrated agriculture.

The company’s team presents a unique expertise in sustainable engineering, horticultural science, and ecological system design focused exclusively on the application of controlled environment agriculture to the built environment.

Read the new book by Dr. Dickson Despommier "The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century"

'By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?'

Dickson Despommier is the Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Microbiology at Columbia University, and the vertical farming concept grew out of a medical ecology course he taught in 1999. Articles about the subject have been published in The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Popular Science, Scientific American and Maxim. In October 2010, his first book on the subject, The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century, was published. More can be learned through his website,





Write a comment

  • Required fields are marked with *.

If you have trouble reading the code, click on the code itself to generate a new random code.
leo romero
Posts: 28
applying your vertical city farm approach to ending homelessness in silicon valley
Reply #28 on : Wed June 08, 2016, 12:52:06
dear dr despommier,

a note of thanks for the inspiration. in exploring solutions to homelessness in san jose ca, home of the largest homeless population in the united states, we have launched a campaign to build pop-up live-work city farms here, many models for which we found through your publications.

we thank you for your work, and hope to help make your dreams, as well as the dreams of our homeless clients, come true.

in solidarity,


Leo Romero
Executive Director
The Mila del Sol & Eddie Romero
Fund for Community Development

Organizer, Homeless Veterans
#Project22 The Veterans Initiative
of the homeless, for the homeless, by the homeless
Posts: 28
Re: Vertical Farms
Reply #27 on : Sun May 08, 2016, 15:43:21
What wonderful images! We need one of these talented design professionals to illustrate the proposed Northern Avenue Bridge Vertical Farm in Boston.

Here is the detail and rationale for the proposed design:

We can preserve Boston’s iconic landmarks while promoting a green future. Sustainability and historic preservation go hand-in-hand. The rustic charm of the rebuilt industrial era bridge will now be set within a green canopy.

Multi-Use Trail

The multi-use pedestrian and cycling trail would run down the current center lane of the bridge (once used by cars). A ramp would bring the Harborwalk to bridge level and be fully-handicap accessible.

There would be towering vertical hydroponic greens on either side in the main exterior lanes. Greenery — as viewed from both near and far — would dominate the horizon above the water between the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and United States Courthouse HarborPark. The bridge would simultaneously be a destination and world showcase — while encouraging fitness among residents commuting by foot or wheel.

Feeding World’s Hungry

The Northern Avenue Bridge Vertical Farm would demonstrate to the world a method of feeding our cities into the next Century. Revenues could be generated through the sale of produce to local restaurants, grocery stores and local farmers markets. The installation would inspire people to go home and start horizontal and vertical hydroponic — or aquaponic — systems of their own. Hydroponic farming uses no soil and up to 95% less water. Vertical farming may prove key to sustainability and climate change resilience. The bridge area would be a foodie mecca — with a nearby café selling greens, as popular as your favorite coffee shop on the High Line in NYC.


Aquaponics will serve to highlight the area’s waterfront and fishing legacy. Aquaponics is a cross between aquaculture raising fish and hydroponics, which is raising crops without soil. The exploration of the various developing technologies would make the bridge a fitting portal between the Innovation District and the Financial District.

Colored LED Lights

Colored LED lights have already been used to beautiful effect on the bridge. In a happy coincidence, downward-facing colored LED lights are also the most effective in growing. Produce could be grown year-round upon enclosure. In past year LED cost dropped 85% — making the lights accessible and profitable to indoor farms.

Solar Power

Similarly, the cost of power generated by solar has dropped to the point where, in much of the world, it is now close to coal or gas generated electricity. The more solar power increases, the cheaper it becomes to manufacture solar panels. Solar panels now can be made from lightweight, flexible materials.

Four-Season Gathering Place

The central barrel of the bridge would be available as a gathering place for all manner of community events. Public art would line the sides of the central barrel of the bridge containing the multi-use trail.

Industrial Rustic Charm

The dramatic experience of the bridge’s engineering would be enhanced by the contrast with the green produce. Interpretive signage about both the history and sustainability could be placed in the center multi-use walkway and on the cantilevered pedestrian sidewalks along the outside.

Navigability Requirements

The bridge could be fixed and elevated so as to meet both Coast Guard navigation requirements and projected changes in sea level over the life of the bridge. It instead could remain in an “open" position with a new walkway crossing the water at the height required for navigability. Or alternatively, it could be built so as to swing to an open position as the old bridge once did.


At the middle of last Century, General Electric was the builder of the locomotives of the Union Freight Railroad that carried produce across the bridge. Fittingly, now commuters would be able to walk and bicycle to work at General Electric headquarters while seeing their produce grown locally. This renovation would position Boston to be a beacon of the world’s future. It is time to bring this good idea to light.
Posts: 28
Reply #26 on : Wed February 03, 2016, 12:04:08
Astonishing. I cant wait for what the this may hold for the future of agriculture. ;)
Posts: 28
Vertical farm
Reply #25 on : Tue September 01, 2015, 12:29:45
You know what would be grate a vertical farm with like The 'first' vertical farm design -- by Chris Jacobs. and Gordon Graff's plans for a 58-story agricultural tower, with fully transparent soler sells for the windows and artificial sunlight leds for the lighting and you would grow food and algae based bio-fuel for transportation.
milena taneva
Posts: 28
urban farming
Reply #24 on : Mon December 08, 2014, 06:52:56
incredible!....arch.milena gerginova
Miguel Aricochea
Posts: 28
Course of vertical farming
Reply #23 on : Wed October 08, 2014, 19:05:35
Dear Sirs
We want to open a course of vertical farming in the masters studies or sustainable architecture at the University in Peru. Is it possible to have your images as a rference?
Thankyou and best regards

Posts: 28
about the wind
Reply #22 on : Mon September 08, 2014, 05:06:00
if we go for higher places the velocity of wind is high then how we grow trees in that height
Bruce Ferguson
Posts: 28
Commercial Aquaponics
Reply #21 on : Fri August 15, 2014, 17:13:44
Baltimore aquaponics is an incubator company needing assistance in design and financing. We are bidding on a distressed vacant property in Baltimore and need all the help we can get. We have received all the information from every expert on aquaponics from Dr Rocossi, to Dr. Nate Storey. We are determined and are destined to help reduce the agricultural foot print that is destroying the earth today. Please reply to the email or call us at 443-630-6403
thank you,
Bruce Ferguson
Project Developer
Baltimore Aquaponics L.l.C.
Posts: 28
Re: Vertical Farms
Reply #20 on : Thu August 07, 2014, 10:31:39
Hi Bisrat,

I am sorry to inform but I am just a blog author. I am not an expert on vertical farming. But Dr. Dickson Despommier is. Check out his website:
Bisrat Abate
Posts: 28
Vertcal farming
Reply #19 on : Thu August 07, 2014, 07:11:52
Hi, thanks for your great effort to make real vertical farming . I am really interested in vertical farming and have plan to practice it in Addis Ababa, ethiopia. Would you please provide me more detail information on the subject matter? thanks a lot
B.Purnachandra Rao
Posts: 28
Vertical farming
Reply #18 on : Sun August 03, 2014, 04:40:34
I am interested to do vertical farming, Kindly share the technological and biological data with me.

We are interested to implement the same in India.
Christine Zimmermann-Loessl
Posts: 28
Association for Vertical Farming
Reply #17 on : Fri March 14, 2014, 17:54:08
We have recently founded the first non profit organization - the "Association for Vertical Farming" in Munich. Welcome to join the cause to support and initiate projects, research and disseminate knowledge about VF.
Adel Ramadan
Posts: 28
Please help
Reply #16 on : Mon March 10, 2014, 16:21:39
Dear all,
I hope you are good health, I need your help, so kindly please if you have any data or maltreats about the vertical agriculture.

lynne morgan
Posts: 28
vertical farming must follow natural architectural principles
Reply #15 on : Fri November 15, 2013, 02:31:19
Standing at the edge of a revolution can we please, as scientists, be responsible citizens and follow natural design principles rather than create a Frankenstein monster. People should be PART of these new systems. Lets Live IN them. Turn around the alienation of mankind from nature.
Posts: 28
Re: Vertical Farms
Reply #14 on : Sun November 03, 2013, 22:51:50
If you're interested in vertical farming, you might want to check out my recent blog posts on the subject:
Posts: 28
tell our senators
Reply #13 on : Tue August 06, 2013, 15:05:35
I have told my senator elizabeth warren I really hope I could get some more people to spread this too. If a famine or drought hits the farms in the US it would be a tragedy. I am amazed at the wonderful idea you came up with I hope it could spread faster than facebook. This would help humanity.
Posts: 28
Reply #12 on : Fri April 26, 2013, 12:37:12
Fantastic Idea.
I just read the content of the website and I realized that found the solution to feeding the people.
Don't forget that with the growth rate of the world's population in 50 – 100 years from now will not be enough air to breathe.
This is the big problem?
Florian (Sustainable Futures Blog)
Posts: 28
Re: Vertical Farms
Reply #11 on : Sat February 02, 2013, 22:34:13
This is a great compilation of ideas to bring nature and farming to the city - and if not always practicable those designs are definitely inspiring! That said, there's no doubt much potential in improving agricultural spaces we already have and then there's the little detail of about half of all produced food being thrown away - perhaps we should start with those easier things...? More on this and other sustainable futures ideas/trends over at
Posts: 28
Re: Vertical Farms
Reply #10 on : Sat February 02, 2013, 14:15:11
Jacque Fresco would have to be stoked! ..these building remind me of his designs. Fantastic..I love the whole idea.
daniel kilonzo
Posts: 28
urban farms on buildings
Reply #9 on : Fri January 25, 2013, 02:12:27
i am writing from nairobi kenya.
last night i dreamt that i was in westlands part of nairobi and was in a building there which was multistoreyed and evry floor was a farm.
crazy it sounded but i woke up went o google and found that this actually exists.i was flabbaergasted.thot it was just a silly dream coz there were also flying cars and roads all up in the air.

anyway,i belong to a group of urban profeesionals that have an interest in farming under the banner of KINGDOM BUSINESS NETWORK..a christian group that seeks to empower Gods children to apply his word principles in all facets of can google it.

im more curious now of the potential it presents and how i can connect to you guys, 712 84 90 94
Altaff Aumeeruddy
Posts: 28
Reply #8 on : Mon December 10, 2012, 14:23:24
Dear All,
I am CEO of Global Green Ocean (GGO), we are starting off small projects in Sustainability, hopefully our next big project supersise Bio VERTICAL FARM development in the most unlikely place in the world developing a desert in lush greenlands like Azhar Project In Cairo and Dubai Golf course conversion from Deserts. We are very interested in VERTICAL FARMS Networking. Obviously we need contacts in expertise or shared information for such development to take place. I am wondering can hydroponics help in Vertical Farming and what is quantity of water in such development is needed.
antara sarkar
Posts: 28
Re: Vertical Farms
Reply #7 on : Thu November 01, 2012, 08:41:02
can we grow different seasonal plants at different levels of crops ie crops at various platyforms by somehow providing different climatic conditions?
elaheh samandi
Posts: 28
Re: Vertical Farms
Reply #6 on : Sun April 22, 2012, 06:06:13
can these vertical farms be usefull for those countries that they don't have money,technology,good climate conditions...people who don't have anything but starving!for example some of the african countries.
TVP Supporter
Posts: 28
Re: Vertical Farms
Reply #5 on : Thu March 22, 2012, 18:39:02
Overpopulation? Runing out of the soil?
Posts: 28
Reply #4 on : Thu October 20, 2011, 05:01:06
Hi Dear teacher sir.
wowww if realy these big thouths goes to reality I think each town can perform the enouth food for her people.
thank you very much
whit my best regards
Ramin Saadat
Wayne Masters
Posts: 28
Eiffel Improv Garden
Reply #3 on : Mon September 19, 2011, 17:12:47
I am working on a 14 ft version of the Eiffel Tower and there were kitchen food scraps making a compost supply that fed healthy tomatoes and edible grapes this summer. The residents were uplifted by this ever changing piece of art and they ain't seen nothing yet. As I am an LED shock and awe kind of guy synced to music. Of yeah I 'm the world's best soundman masquerading as the world's best videocameraman masquerading as the world's best film lab technician masquerading as the the world's most covert influence on politicians.
I lean out of the 99nth floor of this model with a TWEC skirt rotating about me, say WTF were are your prototypes?
Posts: 28
Re: Vertical Farms
Reply #2 on : Mon April 18, 2011, 12:22:36
Actually, outdoor crops are more prone to natural disasters than the VFs, and technology can evolve enough to make buildings natural disaster-proof.
Isabelle Morgan
Posts: 28
Vertical Farms
Reply #1 on : Sat April 02, 2011, 11:37:28
Amazing expression of architecture however in recent years there have been far too many natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis for Vertical Farms to be a practical and safe venue in our future. Beautiful to look at though, but that is half our problem, we put safety aside to be tall.
  • Gabions
    Gabion (from Italian gabbia "big" and Latin cavea meaning "cage") a wire cage that is filled with stone or other hard materials.
  • Shell Bathrooms
    Cover your bathroom walls with shells!
  • Shell Fireplaces
    Options are to glue gun the shells on top or mortar the shells into a surface thinset.
  • Shell Buildings
    Waterproof, strong and long lasting. We have been decorating our homes with shells for thousands of years...
  • Shell Walls
    Shell encrusted walls were all the rage in the 1700s...and there seems to be a resurgence.
  • Straw Bale Greenhouses
    With a minimum R value of 38, straw bale is always a great choice for at least one wall in a cold climate greenhouse.
  • Shed of the Year
    Each year in the UK there is a Shed of the Year Contest.
  • Klinker Brick
    Klinker or clinker bricks were overcooked rejects, a product of intense and smokey coal-fired kilns. They were considered a waste product until early Craftsman builders found their sculptural architectural merits.
  • Mirrored Buildings
    Beautiful buildings but the thought of birds flying into the glass is dreadful, so all large panes of mirror should have a deterrent, like a hawk cut-out or strips of ribbon hanging in front. Nesting season would be a particularly problematic time.
  • Bark Shingles
    No maintenance, long lasting, impenetrable poplar bark siding is a cradle to cradle siding option.
  • Bark Walls
    Bark Walls. Bark is waterproof and will not rot; its familiar surface is richly graphic.
  • Corrugated Metal Ideas
    Reclaimed corrugated metal is the most earth friendly option.
  • Savin Couelle
    Architect-sculptor Savin is the son of self-taught organic architect Jacques Couëlle.
  • Recommissioned Silos
    Recommissioning local silos is an eco-friendly housing option.
  • Salvaged Wood Interior Walls
    Salvaged wood paneling inspiration...
  • Salvaged Wood Bathrooms
    Reclaimed wood works well in bathrooms. Either as paneling, backspashes, vanity, flooring or ceiling.
  • Salvaged Wood Sheds
    If you do not have enough salvaged wood to build a cabin. Build a salvaged wood shed.
  • Salvaged Wood Cabins
    Old wood from barns, farmhouses, factories, even snow fence, is potential siding for a new home.
  • Homes on Stilts
    A rising sea level and hurricane-resistant design choice.
  • Boathouses
    Boathouses have been around almost as long as boats.

More Posts: Building Blog Home