Millions of people in the US experience food insecurity on a daily basis. This problem has been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has pushed the total number of Americans experiencing hunger to an estimated 42 million people, many of whom live in urban food deserts which lack adequate access to fresh and affordable food.
With the aim of tackling this urgent issue, creative agency Framlab has developed Glasir — a conceptual project which involves building groups of modular vertical farms to provide low-income neighborhoods with access to fresh produce.
Glasir takes the form of greenhouse-like cubes designed to be installed anywhere in the city where there would be room for a standard tree. The target, however, is to build them in food deserts, where there is an infrastructure barrier to nutritious and affordable food.
The system runs on renewable energy and rainwater, and it even helps reduce air pollution using an outer layer on the greenhouse modules. “There’s a chemical process catalyzed by sunlight that would allow the material to break down air pollutants,” architect Andreas Tjeldflaat tells euronews, adding that his ambition is “to confront environmental harm and social inequality within our food systems.”
Each cube can reportedly produce more than 200kg of crops per year. The self-regulating system uses aeroponics, which means that the crops don’t need any soil and draw their water from the greenhouse’s misty environment, absorbing nutrients in a faster and more effective way than in traditional farming. “This allows us to reduce water usage and land arrow requirements by about 90 percent,” explains Tjeldflaat.
Image source: Glasir