These are the world’s largest vertical farms

From Japan to Denmark and the US, vertical farms have grown more popular over the years as a way to solve food shortages while using space efficiently.

As more than 80% of land suitable for crops is already in use, vertical farming has become a critical component of agriculture’s future.

While continued large-scale agriculture contributes to global deforestation, pollution, and climate change, vertical farms present an opportunity to optimise plant growth using soilless farming techniques and as little space and transport as possible.

In the vertical farming process, plants, foods and herbal medicines grow in vertically stacked layers, inclined surfaces or containers receiving water and nutrients with hydroponics, geoponics and aeroponics techniques. The results are greater harvests at any time of the year, anywhere in the world, and using fewer resources.

On the other hand, vertical farms obviously have disadvantages: the initial energy investment, first of all, but also the need to select the most suitable crops for such a cultivation, especially with respect to economic sustainability. The technologies, although improving, are still far from perfect. Moreover, while vertical farms reduce the cost of transport, both monetary and in terms of carbon footprint, if they are erected in built-up areas, on the other hand it is obvious that in cities the land on which to build them could be very expensive, compared to the contryside. 

The global market was valued at $3.47 billion in 2021 and, while many large-scale projects are in the works around the globe, is projected to surpass $20 billion by 2029. Domus has put together a selection of the world’s largest active or soon-to-open vertical farms.

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