SkyScraper Farms

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With a total population fast approaching 8 billion, world food demand has continued to climb. At the same time, however, the increasingly dire effects of climate change, as well as other environmental factors, are now having a serious impact. Droughts, desertification and the growing unpredictability of rainfall are reducing crop yields in many countries, while shrinking fossil fuel reserves are making large-scale commercial farming ever more costly. Decades of heavy pesticide use and excess irrigation have also played a role. The United States, for example, has been losing almost 3 tons of topsoil per acre, per year. This is between 10 and 40 times the rate at which it can be naturally replenished – a trend that, if allowed to continue, would mean all topsoil disappearing by 2070. As this predicament worsens and food prices soar, the world is now approaching a genuine, major crisis.

Singapore opened the world’s first commercial SkyScraper Farm in 2012. By the mid-2020’s, they have become widespread, with most major urban areas using them in one form or another.

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SkyScraper Farms offer a number of advantages. An urban site can produce the same food quantity as (1,052 acres) of conventional farming, feeding tens of thousands of people. Roughly 150 of these buildings, each 30 stories tall, could potentially give the entire population of New York City a sustainable supply of food. Genetically modified crops have increased in use recently and these are particularly well-suited to the enclosed, tightly controlled environments within a SkyScraper Farm. Another benefit is that food can then be sold in the same place as it is grown. Farming locally in urban areas greatly reduces the energy costs associated with transporting and storing food, while giving city dwellers access to fresher and more organic produce.

SkyScraper Farms also offer environmental benefits. The tightly controlled system contained in each structure conserves and recycles not just water – but also soil and fertilizers such as phosphorus, making the total ecological footprint orders of magnitude smaller than older methods of agriculture. On top of that, the reduced reliance on arable land helps to discourage habitat destruction. SkyScraper Farms can also be used to generate electricity, with any inedible organic material transformed into bio-fuel.

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