Type: Chapter

Advanced hydroponics design for plant cultivation in cities


Giuseppina Pennisi

DISTAL – University of Bologna (Italy)

Alessandro Pistillo

DISTAL – University of Bologna (Italy)

Elisa Appolloni

DISTAL – University of Bologna (Italy)

Francesco Orsini

University of Bologna

Giorgio Gianquinto

DISTAL – University of Bologna (Italy)

Publication date:

08 February 2021

ID: 9781801460477

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The growth of the world urban population altogether with the detrimental effects of climate change and resource scarcity are currently exerting extreme pressure on our food systems. Innovation in vegetable crop production is being driven by plant cultivation technologies that are independent of soil fertility and availability, highly efficient in the use of water and mineral nutrients and adapted to protected environments with resilience to both biotic and abiotic stresses. Soilless culture systems (SCS) are most suited to tackle these challenges, and in recent years their innovation has mainly targeted the adaptation of the growing techniques developed in traditional commercial greenhouse systems into advanced hydroponic designs fitted to diverse urban environments. This chapter describes the most recent innovations in SCS for plant cultivation within urban settings. These include rooftop farms and cultivation inside buildings through the use of artificial lighting. Finally, the chapter looks ahead to future research trends in this area.

Table of contents

1 Introduction 2 Rooftop farming systems 3 Vertical farming with artificial lighting 4 Innovative SCS for urban agriculture: aquaponics 5 Case study: innovative urban farming systems through the international student competition: UrbanFarm 6 Summary and future trends 7 Where to look for further information 8 References