“NYC streets are ripe with potential to start producing their own food," says Julian Lwin with Street Farm. Full and built up through the city might be, lack of space is no excuse for anyone, as Street farms’ vertical farm can be fit also in small public spaces. “We now can claim street space for sustainably grown urban greens the same way we claimed the streets for outdoor dining during COVID.”
COVID forced many countries to rethink their food system, as logistics suddenly got complicated. Also Julian became acutely aware of the need for new retail environments, finding a safer way to interact with food and purchasing fresh produce. Via an automated dispensing think vending machines & dedicated StreetFarm app.
The micro modular urban vertical farm satellite
In this period he saw people taking their activities outside, exercising or even eating out on the streets whereas they would normally do this indoors. With that in mind, he found (conceived) Street Farm, intending to find a solution for growing fresh produce right there in the streets of NYC. “We will fabricate the farms right here in New York’s Brooklyn Navy Yard, to keep the transport emissions to an absolute minimum.” This model can be set up in any city metropolis around the globe where freshly grown produce is missing from the urban environment
Street Farm’s micro-vertical farm works with a hydroponic growth system and is designed to be reused again and again. The designs vary in size from 8’ wide x 8’ high x 12’ long to 16’ high to 32’ long. The smaller ones can be placed in gardens, allowing the larger-scale growing to be done in empty storefronts, city lots, etcetera. Julian dreams of the microfarms to be placed even in schools, libraries and train stations to show people that food can be grown literally anywhere.
Urban “element" vertical farm
Combining the latest technologies in the field of AI and robotics for monitoring the growth and yield, the New York streets will produce lots of fresh produce for the local population. “With Street Farms we can transform New York from a food desert to a paradise of nutritious, healthy vegetables.” The plan is for the system to monitor the plant growth itself, but for the harvest to be done by employees, thus creating more jobs in the city. “We want these farms to create a connected, community-centered urban farm environment, connecting people to each other and to the food they eat.”
Julian finds it vitally important that people see tangible agriculture grown in public places, rather than hiding vertical farms in post-industrial spaces and rooftops. “Street Farms will connect the community with the products we eat. We aim for a paradigm shift in our relationship to the food we eat and our city landscape.”