Food miles could be a thing of the past with cities growing their own food supplies on rooftops and in unused lots. Volkmar Keuter of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology in the German town of Oberhausen is exploring the potential of cities to grow their own food.
Keuter has come up with a number of radical ideas that could change the way we design cities in the future. He suggests such things as:
- Heat from industrial installations being harnessed for green houses in the winter.
- Treating and sanitizing waste water from buildings to feed crops.
- Recycling the nutrients in sewage and waste water as fertilizer.
- Hydroponic systems that measure electrical conductivity of their plants’ water for optimum rates of fertilizer.
- Even creating multi story green house buildings.
For the full story on urban farming slashing food miles read the article at dw-world.de. It is a thought provoking examination of the way we do cities and how we might do them differently in a environmental responsible future.
Inner city gardening and food miles from the perspective of Homesteading Guide.
Hydroponics are an excellent way of producing food in the inner city when “dirt” is at a premium. A lot of the water that falls, or is used, within cities is flushed straight out to sea (or into rivers) via the waste water systems. Using that waste water to produce food helps the environment in many ways. It helps reduce the demand for water both in the city and in rural areas trying to supply enough food to feed the cities.
Having more vegetation in cities will create a more oxygen rich environment aiding the health of urban dwellers. Food miles become irrelevant as food is grown and supplied within walking distance. And lets face it, nature is a lot prettier than the concrete monstrosities that we create – so the mental health and stress levels of city people will improve as they are surrounded by fresh green gardens. Homesteading and urban rooftop gardens are the way forward.