While about half of the world’s population lives in cities today, that proportion will rise
to 70 percent by 2050, according to the United Nations. And all those urbanites will
have to be fed.
Rather than shipping food from farms to cities, one project proposes a more efficient alternative: bringing the farm to the city.
Within the Swedish city of Linköping, the Plantagon vertical greenhouse, which will
rise 17 stories, aims to deliver fresh food daily to city dwellers for as much as 60 percent less than conventionally farmed and transported produce.
Other vertical farms have required up to 20 hours of artificial light per day to ensure
uniform plant growth. That makes the farms prohibitively expensive and creates a
greater carbon footprint than they propose to offset.
The Plantagon project team overcame this obstacle with a design that takes inspiration from a corkscrew. Inside the conical glass greenhouse, plants grow in boxes that
slowly rotate along a twirling conveyor belt. As the belt moves downward, the plants
enjoy maximum sun exposure, eliminating the need for artificial light.
PROJECT: Plantagon vertical farm
BUDGET: SEK200 million
HARVEST: 300 to 500 metric tons
of produce per year
“Plantagon marks the realization of the vision
of creating functional, sustainable solutions for
the growing cities of today and tomorrow.”
—Hans Hassle, CEO, Plantagon International AB, Stockholm, Sweden