China's population of 1.3 billion people ranks as the largest on the planet, continuing to grow steadily, well ahead of India and the U.S. And while the country has vast tracts of open land, its central cities are gradually becoming choked with the nation's sheer mass of humanity and the pollution accompanying local industry and traffic. To address these changes France-based architect Vincent Callebaut developed an innovative concept design solution specifically targeting the Shenzhen region of China.
The concept structures are called Farmscrapers and they function pretty much exactly as the name suggests, as towering, multi-tiered farm enclosures. Callebaut envisions a complex of six towers full of green spaces all working to reduce carbon emissions, as well as the need for food to be transported into the city from the countryside. The designer also believes the elevated farms could serve as hubs of self-contained ecological sustainability by recycling local liquid and solid organic waste to nourish the plant life in the towers.
In some ways, Callebaut's concept design is yet another example of what science fiction author Bruce Sterling once called the Viridian Design Movement, an environmentally progressive ethos focused on a future full of sustainable technology. That movement has since lost some steam, but if these Farmscrapers are any indication, it appears there is still hope for creating radically sustainable cities. You can check out more views of the Farmscrapers in the gallery below.