Create an environment that encourages sustainable urban life, promoting a state of good health for all those who choose to live in cities. All of this may sound too good to be true, but careful analysis will show that these are all realistic and achievable goals, given the full development of a few new technologies. High-rise food-producing building will succeed only if they function by mimicking ecological process, namely by safely and efficiently re-cycling everything organic, and re-cycling water from human waste disposal plants, turning it back into drinking water. Most important, there must be strong, government-supported economic incentives to the private sector, as well as to universities and local government to develop the concept. Ideally, vertical farms must be:. Cheap to build;. Durable and safe to operate; and.
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Vertical farming practiced on a large scale in urban centers has great potential to:. Supply enough food in a sustainable fashion to comfortably feed all of humankind for the foreseeable future;. Allow large tracts buy of land to revert to the natural landscape restoring ecosystem functions and services;. Safely and efficiently use the organic portion of human and agricultural waste to produce energy through methane generation, and at the same time significantly reduce populations of vermin (e.g., rats, cockroaches. Remediate black water creating big a much needed new strategy for the conservation of drinking water;. Take advantage of abandoned and unused urban spaces;. Break the transmission cycle of agents of disease associated with a fecally-contaminated environment;. Allow year-round food production without loss of yields due to climate change or weather-related events;. Eliminate the need for large-scale use of pesticides and herbicides;. Provide a major new role for agrochemical industries (i.e., designing and producing safe, chemically-defined diets for a wide variety of commercially viable plant species;.
Other health risks to farmers include acute exposure to toxic agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides and fungicides) (26 bites from noxious wildlife (27 and trauma injuries (28, 29). The latter two risk categories are particularly common among slash and burn subsistence farmers. It is reasonable to expect that as the paperwork human population continues to grow, so do these problems. Consensus among demographers regarding estimates of the rate at which the global human population will increase is difficult to achieve, but most agree that over the next 50 years, the number will increase to at least.2 billion (30). It is also conceded by some of the worlds leading agronomists that they will require an additional10 9 hectares of land (roughly the size of Brazil) if they are to produce enough food by conventional methods to meet their needs (31). Since there is essentially no high quality land remaining for this purpose, it seems obvious that a major crisis of global proportion may well be looming on the very near horizon. Limited resources (food, water, and shelter) are some of the major causes for civil unrest and war throughout the world.
These are the same places from which new kinds of emerging and known varieties of re-emerging infections are found (12). Many of them are zoonotic and their life cycles would not normally include humans were it not for encroachment, an activity driven by the need to expand farming into the natural landscape (13). Nonetheless, there is at present a wide variety of produce available, and in quantity (table 3 for those that can afford. Ironically, many millions of people living predominantly throughout the tropics and sub-tropics are severely malnourished, while living within lab countries many of which export large amounts of agricultural products destined for the markets of the developed world. Farming is an occupation fraught with a wide variety of health risks (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20). Numerous infectious disease agents (e.g., schistosomes, malaria, geohelminths) take advantage of a wide variety of traditional agricultural practices (irrigation, plowing, sowing, harvesting facilitating their transmission (Table 1) (21, 22, 23, 24, 25). These diseases take a huge toll on human health, disabling large populations, thus removing them from the flow of commerce, even in the poorest of countries.
For example, some 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, the fertile, silt-laden soils of the floodplains of the tigris and Euphrates river valleys were rapidly degraded below minimum food production limits due to erosion caused by intensive farming and mis-managed irrigation projects that were often interrupted. Today, primitive farming practices continue to produce massive loss of topsoil (5, 6 while excluding the possibility for long-term carbon sequestration in the form of trees and other permanent woods plants (7). Agrochemicals, particularly fertilizers, are used in almost every major farming system regardless of location (8 largely due to the demand, year in and year out, for cash crops that extract more nutrients from the substrate that it can provide. Mono-crops are extraordinarily vulnerable to a wide range of insect pests and microbial disease agents due to the very nature of farming (i.e., growing large numbers of a given plant species in a confined area). To mount a counter-offensive, we have invented pesticides and herbicides. Their use has become routine in many situations, particularly in factory farms. Agricultural runoff, which typically contains all of the above-mentioned classes of chemicals, and is also often laden with unhealthy levels of heavy metals, as well, is generally acknowledged as the most pervasive and destructive form of water pollution, degrading virtually every freshwater aquatic environment that. Many of the earths most impacted regions (i.e., those with the highest population densities) are generally conceded to be unhealthy places to live (western Europe and North America excepted with infant morbidity/mortality rates many times greater than those found in Europe and North America (11).
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Novel ways for obtaining an abundant and varied food supply without encroachment into the few remaining functional ecosystems must be seriously entertained. One solution involves the construction of urban food production centers vertical farms in which our food would be continuously grown inside of tall buildings within the built environment. If we could engineer this approach to food production, then no crops would ever fail due to severe weather events (floods, droughts, hurricanes, etc.). Produce would be available to city dwellers without the need to transport it thousands of miles from rural farms to city markets. Spoilage would be greatly reduced, since crops would be sold and consumed within moments after harvesting. If vertical farming in urban centers becomes the norm, then one anticipated long-term benefit would be the gradual repair of many of the worlds damaged ecosystems through the systematic abandonment of farmland. In temperate and tropical zones, the re-growth of hardwood forests could play a shredder significant role in carbon sequestration and may help reverse current trends in global climate change.
Other benefits of vertical farming include the creation of a sustainable urban environment that encourages good health for all who choose to live there; new employment opportunities, fewer abandoned lots and buildings, cleaner air, safe use of municipal liquid waste, and an abundant supply. Introduction, as of 2004, approximately 800 million hectares of land were in use for food production approximating an area equivalent to Brazil (1 and allowing for the harvesting of an ample food supply for the majority of a human population approaching.3 billion. These land-use estimates include grazing lands (formerly grasslands) for cattle, and represents nearly 85 of all land that can support at least a minimum level of agricultural activity. In addition, farming produces a wide variety of feed grains for many millions of head of cattle and other species of domesticated farm animal (2). In 2003, nearly 33 million head of cattle were produced in the United States, alone (3) In order to support this large a scale of agricultural activity, millions of hectares of hardwood forest (temperate and tropical grasslands, wetlands, estuaries, and to a lesser extent coral. The advantages of farming are obvious enough from a human perspective, but even our earliest efforts caused irreversible damage to the land.
Abstract, the advent of agriculture has ushered in an unprecedented increase in the human population and their domesticated animals. Farming catalyzed our transformation from primitive hunter-gatherers to sophisticated urban dwellers in just 10,000 years. Today, over 800 million hectares is committed to soil-based agriculture, or about 38 of the total landmass of the earth. It has re-arranged the landscape in favor of cultivated fields at the expense of natural ecosystems, reducing most natural areas to fragmented, semi-functional units, while completely eliminating many others. A reliable food supply was the result.
This singular invention has facilitated our growth as a species to the point now of world domination over the natural world from which we evolved. Despite the obvious advantage of not having to hunt or scavenge for our next meal, farming has led to new health hazards by creating ecotones between the natural world and our cultivated fields. As the result, transmission rates of numerous infectious disease agents have dramatically increased- influenza, rabies, yellow fever, dengue fever, malaria, trypanosomiasis, hookworm, schistosomiasis and today these agents emerge and re-emerge with devastating regularity at the tropical and sub-tropical agricultural interface. Modern agriculture employs a multitude of chemical products, and exposure to toxic levels of some classes of agrochemicals (pesticides, fungicides) have created other significant health risks that are only now being sorted out by epidemiologists and toxicologists. As if that were no enough to be concerned about, it is predicted that over the next 50 years, the human population is expected to rise to at least.6 billion, requiring an additional 109 hectares to feed them using current technologies, or roughly the. That quantity of additional arable land is simply not available. Without an alternative strategy for dealing with just this one problem, social chaos will surely replace orderly behavior in most over-crowded countries.
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Aims, water (issn ) is an international and interdisciplinary open-access journal covering all aspects of water, including water science, technology, management and governance. It publishes original research papers, critical reviews and short communications. There is no restriction on the length of the papers. Full methodical and/or experimental details must review be provided for research articles. We encourage scientists to publish their research in as much detail as possible. Computed data or files regarding the full details of the experimental procedure or model set-up, if unable to be published as part of the main manuscript, can be deposited as supplementary material. Scope, the scope of Water encompasses the following research areas: Water resources management: water resources systems; monitoring, remediation and protection of water resources; water resources planning; adaptive management; water demand management; national and international water policy; water economics. Water governance: institutional arrangements; water law; water rights; property regimes; trans-boundary water issues; water conflict; water politics; water security; history of water resources.