Solving Cities

Vertical farm rising on Vancouver roof

Vertical farm rising on Vancouver roof

Posting in Cities

If you're going to stick a parking garage in a high-density downtown, you might well put a farm on it. That's what one Vancouver company is doing.

Plans are in place to build a vertical farm on top of a parking garage in downtown Vancouver.

Valcent Products has signed an agreement with the parking garage to build its first high-density "VertiCrop" farming structure in North America.  The 6,000 square foot vertical farm sounds something like the urban farm of the future. The Vancouver Sun reports:

The inside of the greenhouse will be anything but ordinary. Four-metre-high stacks of growing trays on motorized conveyors will ferry plants up, down and around for watering, to capture the sun's rays and then move them into position for an easy harvest.

The array will produce about the same amount of produce as 6.4 hectares (16 acres) of California fields, according to Christopher Ng, chief operating officer of Valcent.

Construction will begin on the project in January, with an eye to harvesting the first crops in April. The greenhouse will cover less than half of the available space on the rooftop, leaving open the possibility that a second, equally productive greenhouse can be built in the future.

If you're going to plague a high-density downtown with a parking garage, I can't think of a better addition.

"High-tech greenhouse planned for city parkade rooftop" [The Vancouver Sun]

Photo: Valcent Products

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure