Images via Boatanic Vimeo Video
Damien O'Sullivan, a designer in Rotterdam, noticed something about the boats in the Amsterdam waterways -- they'd make perfect greenhouses. With just the right mix of large flat space and access to sunlight, the floating platforms can be turned into urban farms. O'Sullivan came up with a plan called Boatanic, a combination of "boat" and "botanical," and is proposing that a new urban farming plan that utilized house boats be used for year-round fresh produce sold subscription farm-style.
According to Boatanic, "The idea is simple: take an existing tourist boat, take out the tourists, add seeds and water regularly, finally ensure the boat gets plenty of sunshine and then harvest regularly!
"OK, it may not be that simple, but we believe the Boatanic is within reach of plenty of cities that offer a combination of navigable waterways (canals or rivers), a good climate (not too warm or too hot) and plenty of localvores (people who seek out locally produced food)."
The Boatanic structure for farming gives a house boat a double function of both growing and distributing locally grown food. The business model includes selling to retail customers living near canals, restaurants, and schools that can teach kids about growing food in greenhouses.
An iPhone app and website would allow customers to choose the content of their own produce boxes, and bike couriers would take the deliveries to customers, keeping the carbon footprint of the food to an absolute minimum.
While it's not easy to get an urban farm going, and putting mini farms on a lot of boats would prove even more difficult, we love the idea of floating farms that feed cities healthy, local food.
Core77 writes, "The proposal is on exhibit at Fort Aspen in Amsterdam, but the system will be expandable to waterway cities in moderate climates everywhere."
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