When most people think of urban farming, they see in their mind’s eye small plots recovered from the rubble of demolished buildings, tomatoes on fire escapes, and planters on rooftops. But urban farming could be a lot simpler and straightforward, argues French firm SOA Architects. They propose "Urbanana", a large greenhouse-like structure that can fill the gaps between Haussmann-period buildings along Paris’s boulevards. This facility would grow bananas, and other edible plants unsuited to Paris’s climate, obviating the waste of transporting these products thousands of miles.
Here, then, is a truly local agricultural practice, one that can produce produce in quantities large enough to sustain whole cities. A bit more investment would be required for this type of venture than for the average urban farm, but the returns would be larger as well. This type of structure will also give urbanites the ability to cultivate their own specimens and varieties of ‘exotic’ plant, just as gentleman farmers have been doing for centuries in their private greenhouses (or greenhomes?). Of course, there will be no need for pesticides since the plants would never feel the wind or insects. However, those bananas will be expensive, urban real estate prices being what they are.