Plantagon, a Swedish company that makes greenhouses, is happy to remind us all that by 2050, nine billion people will be living on Earth, seven billion of them will be living in cities, and every single one of them is going to be hungry a lot of the time. Plantagon has the solution in the form of skyscrapers for plants. Tasty plants. And they're building one.
Plantagon makes vertical urban greenhouses that are designed to be integrated into new buildings. The plants themselves are grown in hydroponic pots and trays that move continuously through the greenhouse from top to bottom in a helix system, such that you can plant something up at the top, and by the time it gets all the way down to the ground floor, it'll be ready to munch on. An automatic harvesting machine takes care of all the dirty work, and then sends the empty trays back to the top of the greenhouse to start all over again.
In addition to growing tasty num-nums, the Plantagon greenhouse is very eco-friendly, with leftover plant parts being converted into biogas to run the heating and cooling systems, even to the point of contributing to the overall efficiency of the building as a whole. And what could be better than taking a break for lunch, sneaking next door, and enjoying fresh fruit and veggies with a view?
These pictures definitely look all concept-y, but Plantagon broke ground on this greenhouse in Linkoping, Sweden. It should be completed in just over a year, and Plantagon is hoping that the building will help scientists figure out how to better use urban farming techniques to feed everyone from consumers to the third world.