Crops are being harvested on the top of New York buildings as conservationists and ecologists push for greater use of our resources, particularly those that offer location benefits to the mass populations using our cities.
A company called Aerofarms in the US is converting a 70,000 sq.ft. old steel mill in Newark to food production in the latest development of this technology. There have even been discussions around dedicating complete skyscrapers to food production. Ecologist Dickson Despommier from Columbia University argues that vertical farming is legitimate for environmental reasons. He claims that the cultivation of plant life within skyscrapers will require less embedded energy and produce less pollution than some methods of producing plant life on natural landscapes. (Wikipedia) Of course you don't have to dedicate complete skyscrapers to this type of operation. Small rooftop set-ups that feed single restaurants have also shown benefits.
QVM could be an ideal location for such a venture, given our impeccable credentials for all things food. We have the luxury of a 7 hectare CBD site, and some money in the bank with a renewal. Such technology may shake the boundaries for our traditionalists but at least we wouldn't be looking like a supermarket - we would be jumping way ahead of them. (Actually some work has already been done in German supermarkets.)
There is something very comforting about the thought of all those plants sucking in the carbon dioxide from our CBD and converting it to food. QVM could grow its own food, powered by our own rooftop solar panels, and fed by collected rainwater in our own underground water storage facilities on Queen St. How environmentally beneficial is that?
QVM has long held a prominent position in food supply although intense competition, particularly from supermarkets, has narrowed the gap. Maybe our own vertical food production is one way of stepping ahead.
Further reading - http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/issues/vertical-farming.htm