Move over vertical gardens – urban cows and apple orchards could be the next big thing, as architects consider setting up “vertical farms” on top of apartment blocks.
When Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut put forward an “urban farm” concept for a twin-tower development in New York, called Dragonfly, in 2009, he was laughed at.
But industry experts in Sydney say the idea may catch on.
With growing concerns over the plight of the planet, overpopulation and climate change, Mr Callebaut’s ideas have gained traction and the design has been exhibited at an international fair in China.
So far there have been no buyers for the concept, but there is rising interest. The farm would produce meat, dairy products and eggs and would feature orchards, meadows and rice fields.
“They made fun of me,” Mr Callebaut said of his detractors.
“A lot of buildings in Sydney and Melbourne have expansive rooftop gardens, the next step is to make them usable.”
One of the buildings in the first stage of development at Barangaroo, Alexander, was covered in bougainvillea and Mr Brown said many buildings already had some of the technology needed to sustain small farms.
“Vertical gardens are definitely a trend, which I think will expand to farms over years to come,” he said.
“I think most developers and also council are leaning towards new projects being as self-sufficient as possible.
“Utilising the building’s common areas for solar panels and grey water reticulation will help in maintaining the vertical farms.”
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