Today I came across this article about a vertical greenhouse that is being built in Linköping Sweden, set to open in 2013. This concept does away with the idea that you have to live in a rural area to be self-sufficient or self-sustaining.
The future seems so unclear to me. While my husband and I have decided that living rural is the best fit for our family, it does seem to be true that there’s a tendancy among our generation and younger generations to move to urban areas. It’s easy to see why: urban areas are not only more hip and cool, but they also offer more job opportunities and amenities (I would never be able to live without a car here because of that lack of public transit, but in a city that’s no problem for most people.
So if the future is urban centres, it follows that we need to find a way to make these areas more self-sustainable, and ideas like this are exactly what we need. With these vertical greenhouses cities may be able to grow local, healthy, nutritious (perhaps even organic?) foods for its population. Given a city composting program, some planning, organization, and perhaps a little bit of time, seeds could be collected from the plants there and the greenhouse could become, essentially, self-sustaining. Am I the only one that finds this incredibly exciting?
Food is, of course, only part of the discussion of self-sustainability- but it’s a start.