In recent decades, the world has experienced extreme urban growth. In 2015, close to 4 billion people (54 per cent of the world’s population) lived in cities and that number is projected to increase to about 5 billion people by 2030. Rapid urbanization has brought enormous challenges, including growing numbers of slums, increased air pollution, inadequate basic services and infrastructure, which also make cities more vulnerable to disasters and diseases.
Simultaneously, efforts to ensure food security have advanced significantly since 2000. It requires innovation and technology to enable sustainable agriculture and a supply of good healthy food. Especially in urban areas and communities it is crucial to have an highly efficient and collaborative way to enable urban farming that serve all citizens.
My solution to this development is the "Vertical Farming Grid": By using unused space for vertical farming and connecting the plants in a digital grid, we are able to apply innovative algorithms to ensure efficient and sustainable growth:
(1. Vertical Farming) Vertical farming is the practice of producing food and medicine in vertically stacked layers, vertically inclined surfaces or integrated in other structures (such as in a skyscraper, on rooftops). The modern ideas of vertical farming use indoor farming techniques and controlled-environment agriculture technology, where many environmental factors can be controlled. These facilities utilize artificial control of light, environmental control (e.g. humidity, temperature, gases) and water supply. The goal is to develop modular vertical farming units that can be located at various places within cities and communities.
(2. Digital Grid) The digital grid connects and controls all environmental parameters for a single vertical farming unit as well as all units within a certain city or community. This allows precise monitoring and adjustments, but especially a collaborative network of farming units that work as a big network.
(3. Computer Learning) In addition, my solutions aims to use algorithms that apply innovative methods such as machine learning and neural networks to highly optimize the hole network - this includes a maximum food outcome, but also the capability to react to critical situations and to simulate health scenarios.
Impact of the VFG
This Vertical Farming Grid has an impact on many aspects:
(Efficiency) The highly optimized adjustment methods combined with innovative computer algorithms make a very resource and cost efficient production of food possible. Many parameters can be simulated (e.g. position, water, light) to have an optimized food harvest.
(Sustainability) This optimization saves resources: Water is perfectly controlled and no energy is wasted - instead, the resources are recycled and reused as much as possible. The vertical farming units are sustainable and this method aligns with the environment, i.e. no wast and no by-products.
(Pollution) The farming concept contributes to clean air and helps to reduce the pollution in cities and urban areas. Vertical farming units may be placed at specific locations with high pollution values to counteract this health risk - such actions can be calculated by a computer algorithm of the digital grid.
(Collaboration) The digital grid connects different farming units and unites communities in their food production. This collaboration enables a controlled mix of different food types. Additionally, the digital grid allows to coordinate the resources and materials of a city efficiently.
(Healthy Food and Crises) Bad nutrition is a major cause for diseases - the food that grows within the optimized vertical farming grid has a high nutritional value. Also, in cases of crises or special circumstances, specific plants can be grown fast and precisely.
Stage and WebLink
This Vertical Farming Grid is currently in development and has already been testes locally - with success. We are at the moment about to launch a global version and to finalize the development process.
Official Website: http://vfg.yppo.net/
If you have any questions