Building-Integrated Forests in China

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Bosco Verticale’s designer envisions a China with homes and hotels decked from top to toe in a verdant blaze of shrubbery and plant life; a breath of fresh air for metropolises that are choking on a toxic diet of fumes and dust. In short, he wants to grow forests in buildings.

forest skycraper

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Abandoning Malls For Vertical Farms

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Time magazine once described malls as “pleasure domes with parking.” Malls in general, and strip malls in particular, are ubiquitous in suburban America. Built in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, during rapid suburban expansion and rapidly increasing car usage, for better or worse, they were once a sign of progress. Now, a major enclosed mall hasn’t been built in the United States since 2006 and many are completely abandoned. According to Don Wood, the CEO of Federal Reality Investment Trust, even the process of knocking down or converting a mall could take as long as two decades.

So, the structures may be here to stay, but they don’t have to just be a homage to what once was. Abandoned malls and strip malls could be easily and efficiently converted into vertical farms.

  • where are strip malls headed in the short term?
  • why we should grow food in mixed use structures and think more about their impact on local economies?
  • does it make sense to convert a strip mall to a vertical farm?

Abandoning Malls

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Problems with vertical farm designs

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It’s no wonder vertical farmers get so much flack when faulty architectural designs are at the heart of the public’s perception of vertical farms. When architects aren’t farmers, some serious design flaws slip into their vertical farm concepts. Any serious reader of this blog could write this piece about most of the concept farms that seem to come out every week, but let’s tackle a few of the obvious flaws with this one.

when architects aren't farmers: problems with vertical farm design

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I rip this vertical farm critic to shreds

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Let me start out by saying that this is actually one of the best critiques of vertical farming that’s out there. And I’m not surprised, the author, Stan Cox, works at the Land Institute, one of the most important groups for agricultural transformation out there . They do some really incredible things and I have a huge amount of respect for their work. Unfortunately, it seems they still fall into the same trap as everyone else that wants to talk about how the sun is free and how important soil is; they assume that because vertical farming can’t solve everything, it should solve nothing.

I’m going to go paragraph by paragraph and respond to Stan Cox’s article and address the misconceptions there. This is not a fluff piece, this is not a blog post meant for internet readability. This is a take down.

Vertical farming Critic shredded

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