In which ways can Vertical Farming help to catalyze the transition towards circular cities?
Inspired by the book ‘The Vertical Farm’ by Dr. Dickson Despommier, the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) has been investigating, during the last few years, the potential contributions that Vertical Farming and Urban agriculture activities could provide to catalyze the implementation of Circular Economy principles in cities. Several workshops and researches were carried out by AVF to assess what the gaps are, to establish circular vertical farming activities from a technical and legal perspective. According to AVF, Vertical farming will become ‘an important pillar in the establishment of sustainable innovative food systems in line with the Circular economy concept’.
Since they are bio-based systems, Vertical Farms already have an intrinsic circular configuration. However, by considering beforehand the potential synergies of Vertical Farms with other economic activities occurring within the city, there is the opportunity to further increase the positive effects of Vertical Farming practices in cities. In fact, Vertical Farms could be symbiotically linked with urban energy and waste flows. Therefore, a clever integration of Vertical Farming with the existing City’s metabolism could help provide solutions for sustainable management of resources in cities and, at the same time, reduce the myriad indirect environmental and social impacts of cities. Ideally, cities can become almost self-sufficient in terms of food meanwhile providing several municipal services which aim at reducing waste and recovering value within the city’s boundaries.