The vertical ecovillage: Vincent Callebaut's Dragonfly

When you think of the concept of urban agriculture, you likely picture a small, reclaimed plot of land tended by neighbors or a non-profit organization. While this vision of food production in cities has captured the imagination of many urbanites, the ability to scale it is often limited. The notion of vertical farming, however, recognizes (as did the developers of the original skyscrapers) that building upward may offer more potential for inner city farming than land reclamation. Combined with indoor farming methods such as hydroponics, proponents of the vertical farm believe this concept could offer hyperlocal food production in the middle of even the most bustling urban center.

Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut buys into the idea, but also thinks that with the right design and location, a vertical farm wouldn’t necessarily need to rely completely on systems like hydroponics. Rather, in his Dragonfly “metabolic farm” concept, Callebaut envisions a vertical “ecovillage” for New York City’s Roosevelt Island that integrates “closed loop” systems to create a truly sustainable agricultural, work and living space.

As the name suggests, Callebaut took his inspiration for the design from the dragonfly itself, particularly its wings. Integrating passive solar design, as well as active renewable energy systems, Callebaut envisions a sort of “terrarium” for working and living: the Dragonfly integrates organic and hydroponic food production, as well as other systems necessary for sustaining a community. And like nature, the Dragonfly is designed to turn the waste of one process into another’s food.

As you can see above, the concept is also gorgeous. Callebaut has a full set of renderings on his website, as well as a long-ish explanation of the thinking that went into the idea.

Does this concept strike you as practical? Achievable? Desirable? Let us know what you think.

via Inhabitat


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Image credit: VINCENT CALLEBAUT ARCHITECTURES (used with permission)