The Urban Farming Mindset of Cityscape Farms

While a city may be dense with population, it is generally regarded as sparse with agricultural space, unless you hear Mike Yohay, the founder and CEO of Cityscape Farms, which specializes in creating urban farms wherever there happens to be growing space, from vacant lots to rooftops.

This smart solution that comes from Cityscape Farms provides urban greenhouse systems for agricultural production with low water use.

“By growing fresh food within just a few miles of where it will be eaten, we will have healthier, better tasting produce and make our cities cleaner and more self-sufficient,” says Yohay.

Most important for city farming, these system that is being deployed for growing food requires no soil.

Aquaponics, the system he deploys for growing food, is a method combining aquaculture (fish cultivation) with hydroponics. This system uses natural fertilizer from filtered fish effluent, creating a closed-loop, pesticide-free organic system:

Yohay says the dynamic aquaponics process works this way:

  • Water containing natural fish waste gets filtered to become organic nutrient feed for the plants
  • Plants absorb the nutrients and the cleansed water is recycled back to the fish tank

Yohay says he also offers a program to owners of commercial rooftops to monetize their roof by leasing it to Cityscape Farms. A Cityscape team of architects and engineers will develop “site-specific greenhouse systems that are consistent with local building codes and zoning laws. We address every liability concern to assure a safe, structurally sound installation that will earn you income that didn’t exist before.”

Other benefits: helping the environment and the local food economy. The systems that are used created their own nutrients for plant growth and require less water (see chart).

On his website, Yohay cites two influences in the development of Cityscape Farms:

“Attending college in Iowa, where I witnessed topsoil depletion and environmental pollution from large-scale corn, soy, and livestock agribusiness. The second was living in La Amistad rainforest in Costa Rica, where for a year I managed an eco-lodge and participated in low impact organic farming that supported our local community.

“Looking critically at these two extremes, I became determined to find a happy medium: a modern way to feed people on a large scale without spoiling the land, air and water.”

Reports outline langerhans-cell histiocytosis study results from University of Tubingen.

Health & Medicine Week April 21, 2008 According to a study from Tubingen, Germany, “A 47-year-old woman presented with a 4-month history of headache. Neurological examination revealed no further symptoms.” “Neuroimaging studies disclosed a destructive mass of the clivus and right petrous apex consistent with a chordoma or a chondrosarcoma. Through a midfacial degloving for a left-sided maxillotomy a large portion of the mass could be removed. Neuropathologic examination led to the diagnosis of a Langerhans cell histiocytosis-(LCH). Further clinical investigation showed no additional osseous or extra-osseous manifestation of LCH. Unifocal osseous LCH was formerly known as eosinophilic granuloma. LCH frequently involves bones including skull bones. However, LCH of the clivus is extremely rare. To our knowledge so far only one single case of a clival LCH in an adult patient has been reported. Our case differs from this previously reported case regarding type of pain, lack of cranial nerve palsy and homogeneity of gadolinium enhancement on MR images,” wrote R. Beschorner and colleagues, University of Tubingen (see also Langerhans-Cell Histiocytosis). go to website langerhans cell histiocytosis

The researchers concluded: “According to differences in prognosis and therapeutic strategies between unifocal osseous LCH and chordoma or chondrosarcoma, it is important to include LCH into the differential diagnosis oferosive lesions of the clivus.” Beschorner and colleagues published the results of their research in Brain Pathology (August 2007: 47-year-old woman with a clival mass – Diagnosis: Unifocal Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) of the clivus. Brain Pathology, 2008;18(1):100+). site langerhans cell histiocytosis

For additional information, contact R. Beschorner, University of Tubingen, Institute Brain Research, Tubingen, Germany.

The publisher of the journal Brain Pathology can be contacted at: Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Rd., Oxford OX4 2ZG, Oxon, England.

About the Author

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.
  • PDJ

    Hello, I think these are spectacular ideas, In Halifax I hear they are starting very similar projects, They just tore down an old high school near citadel hill and are building a garden there instead of another condo… my question (stupid as it may be) is that wont the vegetables taste bad? from all the pollution and exhaust from cars and such?