Vertical farming, like many potential solutions to myriad environmental issues, will have its skeptics, but in my opinion the idea makes a lot of sense. This article from the Economist makes great arguments for either side. In favor of vertical farming’s plausibility, it argues that with the success of greenhouses and hydroponics, vertical farming can definitely succeed in crowded cities. The article also points out, however, that the idea’s biggest stumbling block is the cost of artificial lighting in these vertical greenhouses. Natural sunlight won’t be enough, and the requirement of all artificial lighting necessary may inhibit vertical farming.
Will vertical farming “actually work” at what? It depends what you mean. Vertical farming certainly works, in the sense that it produces food. But will it work to save the world? Is it some panacea to our environmental ills? Almost definitely not.
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