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A proposed skyscraper in Shenzhen would grow food along the border of each of its 51 floors. 

A proposed skyscraper in Shenzhen would grow food along the border of each of its 51 floors. 

Credit: Carlo Ratti Associati

CityLab
Environment

Can Indoor Farms Reach Skyscraper Height?

A proposed Shenzhen skyscraper would include a 51-story hydroponic farm, as hopes grow that vertical farms can help address food insecurity.

As indoor farms that don’t rely on soil become a growing strategy to tackle food insecurity, one academic has a vision to take vertical farming to new heights in China’s mega-cities: the farmscraper. 

Carlo Ratti, an architect who runs MIT’s Senseable City Lab, is proposing a 51-story skyscraper for China’s technology hub of Shenzhen with a large-scale vertical hydroponic farm inside that can produce crops like salad greens, berries and tomatoes to feed up to 40,000 people per year.