With approximately 24 million people calling it home, the Chinese city of Shanghai is amongst the most populous places on the planet, as well as one of the most expensive to call home. Any effort to try and feed that many people with locally sourced produce is bound to be met with skepticism, but the city has just approved a 250 acre vertical farming project that could do just that.
The brainchild of US-based design firm Sasaki Associates, the Sunqiao Urban Agricultural District will combine various modern farming methods to provide sustainable, local produce to the citizens of Shanghai. More than that, the Sasaki envisions “…using urban farming as a dynamic living laboratory for innovation, interaction, and education” reports Arch Daily.
This ambitious project utilizes multiple urban-friendly farming techniques, such as algae farms, floating greenhouses, green walls, and vertical seed libraries. Additionally, Sasaki includes very public elements into the project, including an interactive greenhouse, science museum, aquaponics showcase, and festival market that shows both children and adults where their food is coming from. The project also calls for sky plazas, office towers, and civic greens to create a mixed-use environment that brings some much-needed greenery to Shanghai’s skyline.
Though the project is ambitious on a multitude of levels, the city of Shanghai has already approved construction. Yes, this is more than just an idea and fancy drawings; it’s actually happening! Construction is slated to begin this fall, becoming the vanguard for a new generation of high-tech urban farmers.