Can Somebody Please Give this Guy a Grant

Dickson Despommier, the Columbia professor and proponent of vertical farming in cities, has become a celebrity of sorts. He’s appeared in just about every major magazine. He was even interviewed on the Colbert Report. Now all he needs is some money to build one of his agricultural highrises.

In an interview in Next American City, Despommier says that several cities and countries have expressed interest, including New York, Shanghai, Masdar City (the zero-carbon solar city under construction in Abu Dhabi), and the nation of Jordan. But so far nobody has come up with the bucks.

Memo to Mayor Bloomberg: Is vertical farming really such a radical idea? Eli Zabar is already growing veggies in the rooftop greenhouse of the Vinegar Factory. Why not make it possible for Despommier to ramp up the technology and develop a prototype in Gotham?

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