BY: SHAWNTAE HARRIS
Shanghai is planning an urban vertical farm that will feed millions. The centre aims to educate people on the benefits of food sustainability.
Sasaki Architects will create the 100-hectare farm that will be interactive and hands-on. The population of Shanghai is 24 million and the company aims to feed every one of them.
The biggest city in China lost a lot of green space due to the urbanization of the city. The city lost almost “123,000 square kilometers of farmland to urbanization – a land area equivalent to nearly the entire state of Iowa,” wrote Sasaki. The green space will fit in between the chaos of the big city and tall buildings.
The layout will include growing centres like algae farms, floating greenhouses, vertical walls and seed libraries. “As cities continue to expand, we must continue to challenge the dichotomy between what is urban and what is rural. Sunqiao seeks to prove that you can have your kale and eat it too,” explained Sasaki to Inhabitat.
“This approach actively supports a more sustainable food network while increasing the quality of life in the city through a community program of restaurants, markets, a culinary academy and pick-your-own experience.”
The food sustainability will educate on large scale food production. There will be family-friendly events that will be held to teach kids about the values and importance of food supply.
A tour of the interactive greenhouses and a science museum will be held. As well as a tour of the sea life and plant growth to stimulate the water.
Shanghai needs more hands on food education. In recent years residents of Shanghai have turned creative to create green spaces. Many have built little gardens on their balconies or rooftop to create organic, fresh foods. Without the proper education, Shanghai food sustainability will not prosper.
Shanghai recently changed food laws
On March 20th Shanghai implemented a new restaurant food safety law, and in the last month the food hotline received over 14,000 calls. This is a 47 per cent increase from last year.
“Some businesses are trying hard to cover up violations. And tip-offs from insiders really save us a lot of time in investigation,” said Shen Ruoqing, head of the Center of Complaints and Reports at the Shanghai FDA. “The recent scandal of the famous bakery Farine is such an example.”
A reported insider told Shen one particular business was hiding expired food in a residential complex, in order to not get caught. Stricter rules will be implemented by the government soon.
In the meantime, the residents of Shanghai can look forward to the new urban farm and the benefits that it will bring to the health and well being of the community.