These examples are just awesome - think skyscraper, then think farm, then bring the two together and what do you get - an urban farm able to produce vast amounts of hydroponicaly generated food in the middle of cities - brilliant - simple and very easy to achiveve.
It was in national geographic July 09
The Pyramid Farm, designed by vertical farming guru Dickson Despommier at New York's Columbia University and Eric Ellingsen of the Illinois Institute of Technology, is one way to address the needs of a swelling population on a planet with finite farmland. Design teams around the world have been rolling out concepts for futuristic skyscrapers that house farms instead of--or in addition to--people as a means of feeding city dwellers with locally-grown crops. In addition to growing fruits and vegetables, the Pyramid Farm includes a heating and pressurization system that converts sewage into water and carbon to fuel machinery and lighting, according to Inhabitat.com.
Gordon Graff at the University of Waterloo in Ontario thinks his 59-story Skyfarm concept clears what some critics deem an insurmountable hurdle to vertical farms--generating enough electricity to replicate the sun's output at a reasonable cost. Although the hydroponic farm would consume an estimated 82 million kilowatt hours a year, according to the Toronto Star,an onsite biogas plant burning methane from farm waste would provide about 50 percent of that energy. The rest of the needed fuel could come from city waste. The Seawater Vertical Farm concept by Italian architects Cristiana Favretto and Antonio Girardi attempts to address increased demand for irrigation in an era of dwindling freshwater sources.
Knowing that different types of plants have different growth requirements, Oliver Foster of Queensland University of Technology designed the Vertical Farm-Type O concept. Heavy orchards grow atop carparks (foreground), which are linked to the main vertical farm via a skybridge. The bridge is encased in a skeletal-like structure for growing vines and for connecting services such as electricity. Reflective surfaces inside the 12-story building bounce sunlight to the back of the growing space. The Eco-Laboratory, created by Seattle, Washington-based architectural firm Weber Thompson, is a 12-story high-rise complex that would mix residences with gardens that produce food for the local neighborhood. The firm estimates that sales of tomatoes and lettuces grown in the high-rise's hydroponic gardens could total about a million U.S. dollars a year, based on revenue minus the base production costs. The economic feasibility of the design makes a real version plausible within a few years, the team notes.
New York-based Architect Blake Kurasek designed the Living Skyscraper while he was a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The concept places urban farms on the outer fringes of residential apartments. Some floors are enclosed for year-round production of greenhouse crops, while others include terraces for seasonal items such as orchards. The ground floor would contain a farmers' market where residents could sell to one another and the general public.
"A vertical farm has to be adapted for a specific place," Augustin Rosenstiehl of Atelier SOA Architects in Paris told the New York Times in July 2008. For example, it would be a waste to build a vertical farm in the city only for growing wheat if the grain grows particularly well in the surrounding countryside. Rosenstiehl has therefore drawn up several concepts for growing different foods in urban environments, including the one above outfitted with rooftop wind turbines to generate electricity. -->Architect Chris Jacobs collaborated with Columbia University's Dickson Despommier to create one of the first vertical farm designs. Reminiscent of the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles, the concept above includes a giant rooftop solar panel that moves with the sun to capture full light. The building's windows are treated with a chemical that blocks pollutants and prevents water from beading, which maximizes the light getting in to help crops grow, according to New York magazine.