An article by Adele Peters, Co.Exist.
As glaciers melt at record speeds due to climate change, some (often questionable) startups are beginning to harvest the melting freshwater, bottle it up, and ship it off to distant grocery store shelves. But then there are ideas like this one: Why not use the nutrient-rich water to help grow local food for Greenland, which currently ships in almost all of its produce from overseas?
French architecture students came up with the idea for Arctic Harvester, a floating hydroponic farm and village, while doing research for another project on Greenland. “We were struck by the idea that Greenland’s icebergs support such rich localized ecosystems…An iceberg is an oasis,” says Meriem Chabani, who worked on the concept along with Etienne Chobaux, John Edom, and Maeva Leneveu. “We had what seemed to us a massive resource on one hand, and a massive lack–no local produce–on the other.”
The Arctic Harvester, shaped in the circular form of a traditional local village, floats on the water and gathers melting iceberg water into a central bay. The freshwater goes to hydroponic greenhouses on board, growing fruits and vegetables that the mobile harvester can deliver to towns along the coast.
The structure also has space for 800 people to live. “We wanted to explore the limits of the potential that such a floating structure could provide, not just for farming but for research, clean energy production, housing a community and providing for its needs,” says Chabani. “A farm, even a hydroponic farm, needs farmers.”
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