Futurama Farming in New York

Mike covered the Vertical Farm ideas of Dr. Dickson Despommier earlier, and my, how they have grown. New York Magazine has a spectacular spread on his vision of "a cluster of 30-story towers on Governors Island or in Hudson Yards producing fruit, vegetables, and grains while also generating clean energy and purifying wastewater. Roughly 150 such buildings, Despommier estimates, could feed the entire city of New York for a year. Using current green building systems, a vertical farm could be self-sustaining and even produce a net output of clean water and energy."

A lot has changed since the idea was first proposed. Local has become the new buzzword, we now weigh the carbon footprint of our food, and there have been a few recent disasters in our food production system that make one want to look the farmer in the face. As New York says "Cities already have the density and infrastructure needed to support vertical farms, and super-green skyscrapers could supply not just food but energy, creating a truly self-sustaining environment." Imagine an urban highrise CSA where we just walk across the street from our highrise to the next to pick our dinner.

The article is like the Popular Science Moonbase of the Future essays of my childhood, in a round structure "Inspired by the Capitol Records building in Hollywood."


We love how "Wastewater taken from the city’s sewage system is treated through a series of filters, then sterilized, yielding gray water—which is not drinkable but can be used for irrigation. (Currently, the city throws 1.4 billion gallons of treated wastewater into the rivers each day.)" -this isn't just growing vegetables, it is an urban battery, taking waste and solar energy and producing food, clean water and electricity.

Good drawings, lots of ideas and great fun at ::New York Magazine

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