9th – 10th September 2014 - The University Of Nottingham, UK
- Hydro-garden – September 2008 – Dr Chungui Lu
- Sadie Alsop, Samantha Barclay, David Brook (FloodPlainTower) High-Rise Architecture Studio, University of Nottingham
- LED lighting systems – September 2011 – Hortifair & Philips
The Centre for Urban Agriculture at the University of Nottingham recently organised an International Conference on Vertical Farming and Urban Agriculture. This event brought together scientists, engineers, industrialists and policymakers to discuss current ideas, technologies, commercial applications and research opportunities in Vertical Farming and Urban Agriculture. It evaluated the benefits, opportunities, risks and challenges of vertical farming / urban agriculture and provided a forum for establishing research collaboration and networking between academic researchers and commercial interests.
“This landmark meeting brought together scientists, engineers, industrialists and policymakers to discuss current ideas, technologies, commercial applications and research opportunities.”
Why is vertical farming / urban agriculture important?
The continually-growing world populations, the global trend to urbanisation, climate change and pressure on natural resources are key drivers for policies on global food security. How can we feed more people on limited agricultural land, with limited resources? How can we best utilise space, light and logistics for an increasingly urban population? What can zero waste and low energy technologies contribute to food production in an urban environment? There is an urgent need to identify and develop innovative methods for sustainable food production. Vertical farming and urban agriculture, if designed and implemented appropriately, could offer sustainable and innovative solutions for improving food security.
Key topics discussed at VFUA-2014 included:
1. Newly available technologies (LED lighting, tiered growing systems, sensors, etc)
2. Plant and crop science for improved resource-use efficiency (water, nutrients, waste)
3. Sustainable cities (architectural design, green roof, energy, ventilation)
4. Investment in research and development by growers and industry groups
5. The economic and social policies implied by urban agriculture and urbanization
6. Cross disciplinary themes (challenges posed by resource limits, climate change and food production)
Speakers included pioneers of the VF movement and experts from business and science who have experience of technologies relevant to urban agriculture: