Architecture firm Sasaki has designed a vertical hydroponic farm for Shanghai’s Sunqiao Urban Agricultural District, where leafy vegetables will be grown in a huge greenhouse.
The urban farm will be built in an area in between Shanghai’s main international airport and the city center. It will be divided by a canal.
Shanghai is a highly urbanized city which is home to almost 24 million people. Vertical farming is the way to go for cities like Shanghai, where land is scarce. This system does not require too much space but at the same time it helps provide food for the city’s ever-growing population.
Kale, spinach, and lettuce will be grown in these farms, leafy greens which are a staple of Shanghainese diet. These will be grown along a series of looped rails which will be arranged side by side in the greenhouse.
Sasaki has thought of everything, from fair distribution of natural light – the rotating structures where the greens are planted – to the water that will be used to grow the vegetables – rainwater collection tank. They also plan to gather the nutrients from the waste of fish housed in the aquaponics room. Aquaponics, according to oxforddictionaries.com, is “a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water.”
“Shanghai is the ideal context for vertical farming,” said Sasaki. “Like many global cities, land prices are high, which makes building up rather than out the economically prudent choice.”
“Even more significant is the Shanghainese diet, which typically consists of up to 56 per cent leafy greens,” the architects continued. “Leafy greens are also an excellent choice for hydroponic and aquaponics growing systems.”
“They thrive in the simplest of setups, and don’t need a lot of extra attention,” they said. “They grow quickly and weigh little, both of which make them an economical and efficient option.”
Photo credit: Sasaki