Quoted in El Pais

I was quoted in the leading Spanish daily on the need for vertical farming as a means of making cities more sustainable in a world of seven billion people. Which is kind of funny, because I don’t actually think vertical farms are a good use of urban space. In fact, I’ve argued frequently with my colleagues at the Institute for the Future that farming only makes sense in utterly cheap cities like Detroit where the land has no other valuable use. In Shanghai, forget it – the land’s worth too much and there’s plenty of hinterlands elsewhere to use for horizontal farming. Oh well, not the first time remarks have been taken out of context:

Anthony Townsend, director de investigación del californiano Instituto para el Futuro, señala por teléfono que una de las propuestas del IFTF para la sostenibilidad de las ciudades es “impulsar el cultivo urbano”. Se trata de crear edificios con terrazas y balcones que faciliten el cultivo de hortalizas y verduras y educar a la población para que tenga pequeñas huertas urbanas para sus necesidades.

Google translation (with a few fixes in bold):

Anthony Townsend, research director of the Californian Institute for the Future, said by telephone that one of the IFTF’s proposals for sustainability of cities is “to promote urban cultivation.” It is about creating buildings with terraces and balconies to promote production of fruits and vegetables and to educate people to have small urban gardens for their needs.

Full article: ¿Dónde metemos a 7.000 millones? (El País)

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