During the first lockdown I realised that if the supermarkets were empty, there would be desperate times. We need to live closer to our food supply. Food supply chains are global and complex. They also disconnect us from our food, food is a thing in a package from some place else. Using vertical farm technology, we, in urban environments, could repurpose shopping malls, they are not long for this world as we change our purchasing habits. It is more sustainable to repurpose a building than build from scratch, as much as I love the science-fiction glass towers of verdant gorgeousness I have googled when learning about vertical farms. What if we as citizens, as urban dwellers in towns could live near our food supply, help tend it, have a relationship with the food we eat. Community city vertical farms could give us a sense of purpose as well as a food supply. A new relationship with our food could start to improve health and take the pressure off NHS and mental health services. When cars get banned from city centres think of all the car parks, also great structures to become vertical farms.
If less food is eventually grown on the land, the land can do what it needs to, re-wild, become prime space for carbon capture. Traditional farmers could be encouraged by revaluing of land for carbon capture. It is vital farmers are part of the conversation.
The vertical farms need syngas gasification waste systems, to turn all waste into energy to power the vertical farms. The vertical farm could take waste from the city or town, including medical waste. A vertical farm can act as a sewage works, gasification of the solid waste and processing grey water through non-edible plants to make drinking water.
Hurray for vertical farms.