Fresh off the heels of our urban agriculture review comes this article on the future of urban farms. Pretty neat idea: from an engineering perspective, this may be a good way to, ahem, beef up our food security and grow crops in a manner that is efficient enough to allow us to rededicate existing cropland into more effective carbon sinks.
As Peter Marcuse points out in this trenchant artcile, however, we need to view sustainability initiatives such as this with a critical eye. Should we be creating a room with a view for rows of corn stalks, or should we be tackling social justice concerns (such as urban poverty and homelessness) before we pour money into projects like these, which are sure to absorb large amounts of increasingly scarce public funding? Is this a way to gloss over social justice concerns with glitzy technology, or is this a valuable step towards sustainability, and if so, what is the true cost of sustainability?