Whenever I used to hear about ‘urban farming’, I was a little skeptical, and didn’t know whether to place it in the camp of ‘awesome ideas of tomorrow’ or ‘trend fad of today that won’t last through the next summer’. Why not, I thought, concentrate on fixing the big issues (such as land degradation or water depletion) in the primary agricultural areas, rather than spending energy and time on encouraging consumers to grow their own tomatoes on their balconies?
This talk got me thinking though, that building no-waste or energy-self sufficient houses, with green roofs (and maybe even walls), can have benefits that go way beyond bringing consumers back in touch with their food (although that in itself is a worthy goal). As Joost Bakker explains, such strategies could combat the loss of ecosystems due to urban sprawl (by just relocating the meadow or field to your roof), reduce energy used for air-conditioning (since a green roof keeps the house cooler), and can even contribute to fire prevention (as his wildfire test showed).
While the climatic conditions for such housing might be a little more convenient in Australia than here in Europe, I think his talk is still very inspirational with regard to how ‘urbanization’ could look in the future: combining, instead of combatting, nature with the city.