2 Vertical Farms for Chicago

Unbuilt Design Award Submission

In late 2010, Chicago’s Mayor -- Mayor Richard Daley -- convened an interdisciplinary team to investigate and design two distinct types of Vertical Farms: (1) a Vertical Production Farm, and (2) a Bio-Tech Incubator Vertical Farm. The Vertical Production Farm would modernize traditional farming practices by building a structure for growing food and pharmaceuticals at high capacity in Chicago. The Bio-Tech Incubator Vertical Farm would house R&D driven companies active in Life Sciences, Agro Tech and Bio Energy that would uniquely benefit from access to a Vertical Farm in Chicago.

The Chicago Stock Yards were chosen as the site for both vertical farms. From the Civil War until the 1920's, more meat was processed in the Stock Yards than in any other place in the world. An important goal of the project was to revitalize food production, and deliver a renewed aesthetic and urban agricultural identity to this withering Chicago district.

A new multi-programmatic “complete streets” system was designed to support a more robust, resilient and community-based infrastructure around the urban farms. Today, Mayor Daley continues to work with federal and local officials on public/private financing strategies to perhaps one day realize a vertical farm in Chicago.

City of Chicago, Department of Environment
Chicago, IL