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As we reported previously, a number of companies and consortiums are exploring the idea of urban, “vertical” farms – entire ecosystems of agricultural production contained in modern buildings right in the middle of the world’s busiest cities. Besides looking really cool, these agricultural factories have ingenious production cycles, capturing sunlight, rain, and wind as well as having floor-to-floor crop plans that increase efficiency and crop yield, and maximize resources.
     Many argue, and certainly the companies behind these “farms” do, that the world’s increasing population needs new solutions for future agriculture. With 80 percent of the world’s arable land already in use, the idea is to build up instead of out — and keep the distribution of food local — an approach that has led a growing number of vertical farm projects to surface. The verdict is still out as to whether these projects are truly as viable and environmentally sound as they claim. Much research and analysis will still need to be done, especially by qualified third parties. But for now we marvel at the inventiveness of the various plans we see springing up.

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