Score one for the technological optimists’ club. New York City is the place to go for fine cuisine, and there’s just no doubt about it. From the second best kind of pizza in the world (come on, Chicago pizza rules) to gourmet and everything in between, if it crawls, flies, runs, or photosynthesizes its own sugar you can get it on a plate in the Big Apple.

But where does all that food come from? Too far away if you ask Professor Dickinson Despommier of Columbia University. Despommier envisions a new kind of skyscraper: the 30-story vertical farm.

Each floor contains its own field with computer controlled irrigation. Imagine fresh organic foods available year-round due to self-contained and climate controlled farming conditions. Think of the reduction of pollution resulting from not having to truck in the vittles. Despommier also cites an eventual reduction of harmful agricultural runoffs.

The entire complex is planned to be self-sustaining for the most part. Livestock waste will be converted into fuel to supplement the giant solar panel on the roof, and nearly all the water in the complex would be recycled time and again.

Trolling in the BBC for an investor, Despommier says the virtual concept is based on sound theory. I, for one, agree.

What the eco-friendly academics didn’t have time to mention in their interview was that these glass and steel farms would bring high tech agriculture jobs to the heart of the big city, stimulating the local economy on the supply side, while simultaneously reducing food costs and lowering fuel consumption associated with shipping. Frankly, I don’t see the downside. Maybe they can also be used to reduce the air pollution so rampant around our metros.

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