Integrating Vertical Farming at Scale in Urban Food Planning, Practical Considerations for Planners

Author(s): Daniel Petrovics

Abstract / Introduction (download full article at the bottom)

At all stages of food production and consumption, resources are utilized in an inefficient manner and at an unprecedented rate, clearly affecting urban food systems. This raises future concerns in terms of climate change, and in terms of long-term food security and availability for growing urban populations. A supply-side solution to these issues -with particular potential in megacities -is Vertical Farming (VF), a high-yield form of controlled environment agriculture with promised potential to produce fruits and vegetables within cities, ultimately reducing their resource intensity.

This research builds on an Urban & Regional Planning MSc thesis conducted at the University of Amsterdam. The research aims to provide a practical guide for planners, who aim to integrate Vertical Farming into urban food planning. Through this, an indication of whether and how VF can contribute to reducing the impact of food systems in terms of anthropogenic climate change is provided, and ultimately, it helps to understand if and how VF can be up-scaled for further impact. The research utilized an abductive approach with a qualitative design, where 17 experts working in the field were interviewed. These experts represent academia, consultancy, municipal officers, entrepreneurs, and investors. The findings are particularly applicable to planning with VF in cities in an integrative manner. The findings relate to 26 separate factors, along the lines of categories developed by Van Doren et al. (2018). These categories include Measures for Low-Carbon Urban Development, Operational Arrangements, Policy Context, Market Context, Social-Cultural Context, and Natural and Built Context.

Publication: ISOCARP Congress Proceedings, pp.75-101
Year: 2019

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