Explainer: How vertical farming works
Though initial prototypes for vertical farms would likely rise two or three stories at most, Columbia University researcher and vertical farm champion Dickson Despommier eventually imagines industrial-looking, transparent and square buildings rising up to 30 stories within urban settings. A number of international designers and architects have gone even further with their concepts (like this idea from Paris-based Pierre Sartoux), taking the basic idea of a vertical farm in a range of imaginative new directions. — Bryn Nelson, msnbc.com contributor
Designed by Waimond Ip, this vertical farm of the future would include a "commune" of buildings housing a school and prefabricated accommodations as well as growing areas and energy-producing wind turbines arranged along a tower.
Designed by Chris Jacobs, cylindrical towers outfitted with rooftop solar panels could be built as one unit or grouped in clusters to maximize food output.
Designed by Gordon Graff, this concept of a vertical farm for downtown Toronto features 58 angled floors and 8 million square feet of growing space.
The Living Tower, designed by Paris-based architect Pierre Sartoux, features ramped floors and electricity-producing wind turbines on the roof.
Designed by Andrew Kranis of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the futuristic helical Agro-Wanus vertical farm would be located within a reclaimed salt marsh in Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal area.