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Are vertical farms a “a global solution” to the world’s urban food needs." - Professor Dickson Despommier or just bad math written large?

Vertical farms are portrayed as amazing solutions, but I can't find any real numbers on how viable they look to be. What I have found is exceedingly vague.

A few other sites discussing them also seem to promise a great deal.

But is there a resource out there where we could see how vertical farming actually stacks up to traditional methods? Is it just a high initial cost, is it a high unit cost, is it a viable super high end production for the wealthy idea? Is there any more to this idea then just a few journalists looking for a feel good story?

  • Welcome, what is the exact claim you are skeptical of? Can you provide an example? – Sklivvz Apr 3 '15 at 19:54
  • The quote I would question is "Professor Dickson Despommier, the leading international advocate of vertical farms, describes them as “a global solution” to the world’s urban food needs" The claims themselves are troublesomely broad which makes analyzing them difficult. – Suni Apr 3 '15 at 19:59
  • The first link you present calls the Graff proposal "plausible", not "viable". The second one (the one with the quote) says "Vertical farms are still very much at the conceptual stage" and so clearly they are not yet viable. The third link seems to talk about indoor agriculture, not vertical farming. I am confused. – Sklivvz Apr 3 '15 at 20:19
  • I'd suggest putting on hold as unclear what you're asking. – George Chalhoub Apr 3 '15 at 20:31

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