Dr. Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental sciences and microbiology at Columbia University has a plan to bring sustainable agriculture to downtown Manhattan.
He and his students have proposed a model of a vertical farm to grace the New York skyline. Their goal is to reduce the pollution and costs that New Yorkers create with the miles their food currently travels.
With an indoor structure, plants are protected from parasites and bugs, thus Despommier claims all food could be grown organically, without herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers.
Further explanations of the advantages of this idea are that year-round crop rotation will bring locally produced food to the crowded city.
The envisioned structure would be enclosed with glass walls and each storey would consist of planting beds. Atop the large building sits a solar panel to provide the majority of energy for the project. Water would be recycled in the facility and distributed through an advanced irrigation system.