Exploring and prototyping alternative methods for food production in cities

Exploring and prototyping alternative methods for food production in cities

The rapid urbanization of recent decades is just the beginning of an ever-steeper growth curve. By 2050, the proportion of people living in urban areas will have surged to 70 percent. Over the last decade, we have seen shifts in the global economic power balance from West to East, as well as growing middle classes in emerging economies where standards of living and purchasing power are improving. In 2030, there will be nearly 8.3 billion people in the world. Combined with the consumption patterns of an expanding middle class, the demand for resources will grow substantially. The world will need 50 percent more energy, 40 percent more clean water and 35 percent more food. “Food is going to be the biggest challenge,” said Steffannia Russo, project lead, SPACE10/IKEA. “There will be a major lack of resources. The UN estimates we will need 70% more food within the next 35 years.”

We became so distant from food that we started thinking of it as a commodity,” said Russo. “For example, it takes 11 months for an apple to reach the store. The amount of energy used to produce, process, package, store and transport an apple is 7.5 times the amount of energy it actually provides in return.” In today’s world, the food supply chain is responsible for about 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the world. “What if we could grow tasty, nutritious food and make it accessible and affordable for many people,” Russo continued. “What if we tackle the increasing demand for food by pioneering a new paradigm of symbiotic food production and distribution, empowering everyone to join in?”

“We have developed the Growroom,” said Russo. “With the Growroom, we want to spark conversations about how we can bring nature back into our cities, grow our own food and tackle the rapidly increasing demand for significantly more food in the future.” New technologies have made it possible to take urban farming a step further. Russo explained: “Enabled by hydroponic systems, artificial lights and computerized automation we are able to give plants exactly what they need of water, minerals, oxygen.” Read more

Source: www.writing4science.nl

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