Food and sustainable Cities

The current world population of 7.3 billion is projected to increase by 1 billion over the next 12 years and reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to a United Nations report launched today, which points out that growth will be mainly in developing countries, with more than half in Africa. Today, 7.2 billion people consume 1.5 times what the earth’s natural resources can supply. By 2050,  the demand for food will double.

So how can we produce more food for more people without expanding the land and water that we already use? In one line; we need to freeze the footprint of food.

Brooklyn Grange

Brooklyn Grange is one of the leading and biggest rooftop farmings and is busy with an intensive green roofing business in America. They are located on 2 roofs in NewYorkCity and grow more than 50,000 lbs organic food every year. They operate the world’s largest rooftop soil farms. In addition to growing fresh local herbs and greens, they also provide urban farming and green roof-consulting and installation services to everybody all over the world, who is interested in doing the same. They pay special attention to the non-profit organizations in New York to promote healthy and strong local communities. Their mission was to create a massive sustainable model for the urban agriculture and to produce healthy and delicious vegetables for the community of New York, while doing the ecosystem a few favors as well.

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Fresh Garden Fridges

Imagine an organic fridge in which you don’t just keep the food you bought in the supermarket, but now also have to opportunity to produce your own food. This fresh garden fridge, has the capacity to hold every type of edible in a specialized compartment, including places were you can grow things in soil, for example your own herbs. Seasonings can be raised from seeds under delicate light and behind see-through cabinet doors. Grown vegetables can be hung from hooks within a freshness chamber, keeping them moist but mold free. With a technical tough, the fridge is provided with a smart touchscreen, were you can arrange the temperature and conditions, to get the best result.


New York Self-reliant

The plan is called “New York City (Steady) State” and needs to be produced over six years by Sorkin’s Terreform Research Group. Michael Sorkin radically wants to change the landscape of New York City by bringing a green landscape and urban farming into the former concrete jungle. It is not only designed  for aesthetic pleasure but is in fact a “thought-experiment” to design a version of New York that is completely self reliant, creating its own energy, food and everything else within its own boundries. The main reason behind all of this, is to create a sustainable society from the bottom up in stead of relying on others, as minimal outside influence as possible. The first step, was to define how a city as urban as New York with its 8.5 million inhabitants, might be adapted to provide food. They need to use a variety of reclaiming streets, skyscraper farms,  and under-used city blocks, Terreform has calculated that it would be technically possible to produce 2,500 calories per person, each day. If they can combine this with a  good working distribution network, it would give each resident access to enough food.

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Why is it cool?

The current population increases and so is the need to produce more food. In there three cases we see examples of gardening our own food without expanding the land and water. When we are looking at the Brooklyn Grange we see that is is possible to cultivate multiple foods on rooftops. This means that we don’t need to use more space on the ground, but we can use the spaces on roofs that we now in most of the times not even use at all. With the fresh garden fridge, you are able to culture your own food in your own home. You don’t need to go to your backyard to pick up your own greens, but you can grow your own herbs in your own fridge.

When we look at the third signal, the “New York City (Steady) State” we see a possible future image that can spread all over the world. In this example we see the concrete city New York, tuned into the greenest city you have ever seen. It isn’t real and there yet, but I think this is what we need to expect in the future and the plans are already in making. By building the city with different systems, we can produce a lot more food that we can’t now. And as a result, each resident will have the acces to enough food and that is effective and positive for everybody. Food is going to be seen at other places as we see it now, in the grocery store. We are going to build our own, in our garden, on our rooftops, in our fridge or the city is getting totally arranged differently. Because of these solutions, we don’t need to be afraid to have less food. We all can make sure that there is enough food and if it is not for the whole city, it is for your own family trough your own kitchen garden.




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