As part of a comprehensive study we were able to develop the foundation for creating and operating a vertical farm in St. Pölten. The results are expected in 2018 and will then also be transferable to comparable cities. The city of St. Pölten has focused their strategic goals on the Smart City concept, in pursuit of their vision for the “fittest city in Austria“ and the strengthening of the cities resilience. It recognizes the great potential in the optimum linking of local food production, the quality of life of the citizens, and the minimization of resource consumption, plus the added bonus of innovative green spaces and vegetation.
The vertical farm institute is currently examining three existing buildings in St. Pölten for potentials that could be developed by an extension with a vertical farm. This does include energy as well as socio-economic considerations. In addition, eco-social business model types are being developed with integration in the local market. These analyses are used to calculate a life-cycle model (including energy and costs) for a vertical farm, beginning with the design phase and continuing all the way through operations and maintenance. An accompanying process of citizens’ participation will bring their perspective to the planning and also later as co-operators of the vertical farm.