Tandem Project & Alumni Project

Vertical Farming and Innovative Urban Agriculture


Scientists around the world alert that the planet must produce more food in the next four decades than all farmers in the history have produced altogether over the past 8,000 years. This is to meet the demand of the population in 2050, which is expected to grow to almost 10 billion inhabitants compared to the current 7.5 billion according to the UN World Population Prospects. Innovative farming solutions might support this goal, which is also one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, namely SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Technological innovations for & urban farming as sustainable agriculture

Advanced farming technologies are able to provide farmers with detailed readings on soil chemistry, water content, nutrients and growth, measuring the progress of every plant. These technologies are able to increase the production in open fields by double. Biological treatments of insects and diseases are also one of the major elements of sustainable and healthy farming. Selection of high-yield seeds of vegetables that defend themselves naturally against major pests is another side of sustainable innovations for urban and climate-controlled agriculture.

In urban agriculture, vertical farming is an innovative approach to produce high quantities of nutritious and quality fresh food all year round, without relying on skilled labour, favourable weather, high soil fertility or high-water use. Vertical farming is the production of plant products within urban areas in multi-story buildings. These vertical farming systems are fully enclosed and climate controlled, completely removing external pressures such as disease, pest, or predator attacks.

Transdisciplinary workshop: From high value agriculture to DIY vertical farming systems

In a workshop setting, success stories of sustainable farming in Germany and Arab countries are discussed and exchanged. Topics range from agronomy to food science, crop breeding and agricultural economy including economic and social aspects. Scientists from different disciplines, farmers and start-up initiators from Germany and Arab countries highlight the emerging opportunities and challenges in high value agriculture. A special focus of the workshop will be on the innovative concept of Vertical Farming. Next to invited experts on the topic, a hands-on session is planned. Two do it yourself (DIY) vertical farming systems, one for outside and one for inside, are assembled by the participants. The prototypes were developed and constructed by Dr. Sonja Buxbaum-Conradi and her team at the Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg. The designs will be modular and scalable, so that they can be adapted to local and personal needs. The construction manuals will be made available as ‘Open Source Hardware’ with a standardized documentation in order to be replicated, modified, and advanced by anyone interested in rebuilding it. 

Vertical Gardens


Disciplines Involved
Plant Biology, Molecular Biology, Agriculture, Agricultural Economy, Engineering, Nutritional Sciences, Economic Geography
4 - 6 July 2022
Gut Karlshöhe, Klimaschutzstiftung Hamburg, Germany
Cooperation Partners
Gut Karlshöhe, Klimaschutzstiftung Hamburg, Germany
Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg, Germany
Project Title
Vertical Farming: A Food Security Solution for Poor-Resources Countries
Funding Scheme
Tandem Project & Alumni Project
Countries Involved
Egypt, Germany, United Arab Emirates