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Shanghai is building a massive agricultural district with a vertical farm

The farms will primarily grow leafy greens, like kale, bok choi, and spinach.

Image: Sasaki

CHINESE CITY SHANGHAI is known for towering buildings, but now it wants towering farms.

The city is building a 250-acre agricultural district, which will function as a space to work, live, shop, and farm food. Called Sunqiao Shanghai, it will include new public plazas, parks, housing, stores, restaurants, greenhouses, and a science museum.

The masterplan was conceived by the design firm Sasaki and is part of a larger plan to turn a portion of the city into an ag-tech hub, Michael Grove, a principal at Sasaki, told Business Insider.

In the mid-1990s, Shanghai’s government designated a 3.6-square-mile area of the city for agricultural production, hoping that bioengineering and biopharmaceutical companies would set up research facilities working in tandem with city greenhouses.

Shanghai only constructed 3 single-storey greenhouses at the time. Sasaki was commissioned to expand the plan for Sunqiao, Grove says. There isn’t a construction timeline yet, but Grove estimates that a crew will break ground on the project by 2018.

PastedImage-80709 Source: Sasaki

The farms will primarily grow leafy greens, like kale, bok choi, and spinach. Those will be sold to restaurants, grocers, or exported. In the future, Grove says the district may also raise fish in vertical aquaponic farms.

While cutting down on carbon footprints, the farms will have large energy demands, using LED lights to grow the food.

Read: This 40-storey skyscraper has trees climbing all the way to the top

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