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Karen MacKay: Vertical Theory

Karen MacKay's Vertical Farms envision a sustainable approach to Urban Agriculture.

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Karen MacKay designs vertical farming systems to promote agriculture in urban environments.

As the availability of food, water and energy resources becomes scarcer in an age of detrimental climate change, it will become paramount for food resources to be produced locally and for individuals, families and communities to become self-sufficient in regards to food, waste and energy. As oil prices increase, air quality declines and the global food supply diminishes, alternative methods of farming will be essential to urban living. Indoor vertical gardens and farms utilize minimal space compared to traditional farming, efficiently using space while simultaneously improving air quality, providing insulation to structures, and supplying fresh foods.

An ideal urban vertical farm system will address the food needs of individuals, families or small communities. Vertical farms can be either a collection of plants grown horizontally in a vertical system or a literally vertical vegetated wall surface. Rain collection systems that impart water directly to soil or plants will be tested in order to minimize consumption and maximize efficiency of water and energy use during the growing process. Plants will ideally rely on passive sunlight but other lighting options will also be explored. The system may also include elements to address home waste and grey water serving a dual function of food supply and waste filtration.


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