January 27, 2014
Imagine stepping out of your highrise apartment into a sunny, plant-lined corridor, biting into an apple grown in the orchard on the fourth floor as you bid “good morning” to the farmer off to milk his cows on the fifth.
You take the lift to your office, passing the rice paddy and one of the many gardens housed in the glass edifice that not only heats and cools itself, but also captures rainwater and recirculates domestic waste as plant food.
No, this is not the setting for a futuristic movie about humans colonising a new planet.
It is the design of Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut for a 132-floor “urban farm” — the answer, he believes, to a healthier, happier future for the estimated six billion people who will live in cities by 2050.