Bucky Fuller would be proud: geodesic urban agri-architecture

Paul Raven @ 14-07-2009

We’re starting to see a lot of these urban agriculture concepts cropping up (arf!); the Plantagon is (or, rather, might be) a geodesic dome containing a spiral ramp covered with fresh-grown foodstuffs, and its designers believe its food output would pay for its construction.

Plantagon: geodesic urban greenhouse

According to Plantagon, the farm “will dramatically change the way we produce organic and functional food. It allows us to produce ecological [food] with clean air and water inside urban environments, even major cities, cutting costs and environmental damage by eliminating transportation and deliver directly to consumers. This is due to the efficiency and productivity of the Plantagon greenhouse which makes it economically possible to finance each greenhouse from its own sales.”

No word on how exactly the Plantagon system works, but the company says that consulting engineering firm Sweco has helped untangle the technical kinks of the project. Plantagon hopes to have its first vertical farm up and running within three years.

Call me cynical, but I doubt the Plantagon as it appears here will ever make it into production. That said, the sheer number of urban agriculture concepts that are being kicked around at the moment suggests that there’s enough interest in the idea for it to become a reality at some point in the relatively near future… once pragmatism and the harsh economic truths of the world beyond the drawing-board brainstorm have shaved down the budgets a little bit, perhaps. [image by Plantagon]

Or maybe the construction of urban farms will be started in blazes of publicity and viridian glamour, only for the funding to be pulled (or embezzled, or just plain “lost”) half-way through, leaving huge Ballardian lumps of unfinished futurism lying around on the urban landscape, waiting to be colonised and turned into squelettes