Farming skyscraper could fight poverty, feed world

Farming skyscraper could fight poverty, feed world

Rendering courtesy of Inhabitat

A proposed African skyscraper is more than just eye candy—its modular and farm-integrated design is created to fight world hunger and poverty.

Designers Pawel Lipiński and Mateusz Frankowski pitched the Mashambas Skyscraper for rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa as a means to bring a “green revolution” to impoverished small farmers, reports Inhabitat. The modular Mashambas is movable and functions as an educational center for growing crops, hosting markets and training on agricultural techniques. 

Although absolute poverty around the world has fallen more than 20 percent in the last 30 years, poverty levels in many African countries have stayed high and stagnant. Today, more than 40 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa lives in absolute poverty.

Lipiński and Frankowski examined the obstacles holding the populace back, most of whom are subsistence farmers, and found that “poor infrastructure, limited markets, weak governments and fratricidal civil wars” were among the biggest challenges. 

In hopes of bringing a “green revolution to the poorest people,” Lipiński and Frankowski designed the Mashambas Skyscraper, a multipurpose building that just placed first in the renowned 2017 eVolo Skyscraper Competition. The Mashambas Skyscraper, which derives its name from the Swahili word for cultivated land, features a simple modular design that can be easily assembled, disassembled and transported. The arched modules are stacked together to form a scalable high-rise, and its flexible design allows for multiple uses, including a ground floor marketplace, warehouses, drone services, classrooms and farming areas on the upper levels. 

Drones would be employed to help bring supplies, whether for building construction or for agriculture, to the Mashambas Skyscraper and would also be used to deliver surplus food to the most needy and hard-to-reach areas. By concentrating a market at its base, the building will help facilitate growth and encourage farming plots to pop up around the site. The building can be enlarged as the participants increase and once the local community becomes self-sufficient, the building can be transported to other places.

“Mashambas is a movable educational center, which emerges in the poorest areas of the continent,” wrote the designers. “It provides education, training on agricultural techniques, cheap fertilizers and modern tools; it also creates a local trading area, which maximizes profits from harvest sales. Today hunger and poverty may be only African matter, but the world’s population will likely reach nine billion by 2050, scientists warn that this would result in global food shortage. Africa’s fertile farmland could not only feed its own growing population, it could also feed the whole world.”

Topics: Agricultural and Farm Buildings, Architectural Firms, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Engineering Firms, Exteriors, Sustainable Communities, Urban Planning and Design

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