Indonesian design allows vertical in-city farming

Indonesia’s cities are the fastest growing in Asia and the urban population is attracting many migrant farmers who frequently find it hard to secure jobs in the city.

A design for an 11-storey vertical farm aims for permit urban farming for the jobless migrant workers recently won the prestigious International Tropical Architecture Design Competition awarded during Singapore Green Building Week.

The Vertical Farm Acupuncture (ViFA) is an eleven-storey construction in Bandung that contains facilities for hydroponic farming and water harvesting.  The structure is built using recycled building materials, waste plastic and glass bottles.

The designer, Ridwan Arifin from the Technology University of Yogyakarta, says that Indonesia has always been an agrarian country and agriculture is an important aspect of its culture.

“The building is oriented for the poorest 10% of the Indonesian people,” he says. “In the first phase, they can grow crops that are easy to maintain, such as cabbage, spinach and tomato. In the second phase, after the people have improved their knowledge of hydroponics agriculture, they can grow other types of crops.”

Ridwan hopes the ViFA can absorb and provide jobs for poor Indonesian migrants who have set up illegal housing along Cikapundung river in Bandung.

Ultimately, it is hoped that the ViFA can reinvigorate, instead of relocate, these poor people by having them live within a vertical farming bloc within the city. Ridwan’s group estimates that each farmer living in the ViFA can earn an average more than US$226 from a small 36 m2  farming site.

In addition to its steel foundations, the ViFA uses building materials from the local area, such as bamboo sourced from the village of Lembang Bandung, and minimises the use of concrete. In addition, the building incorporates unused construction materials, waste plastic and glass bottles.

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September 22, 2017
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