Monday, January 18, 2010

Sustainability and the Renaissance Man

John Edel is the creative and physical force behind the Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center, nurturing home to many artists and small fabricators. Edel renovated the dilapidated former factory/warehouse building almost literally with his bare hands, aided by a vast technical skill set, endless energy, uncanny ability to procure useful building materials from waste streams, and a far-sighted creative vision. Edel sponsors an aquaponics project in IIT's IPRO program as part of his latest project, an indoor urban farm, The Plant Chicago, in the nearby former CPS headquarters at Pershing and 39th. In December, I heard the IPRO student team report on progress setting up the farm prototype (in the basement of CSMC), marketing analysis, building design and energy studies. Edel's latest building renovation plan includes a for-rent commercial kitchen and restaurant to complement the farm. The team is continuing the project spring semester. Learn more at For more on local agriculture, see Advocates for Urban Agriculture Chicago.

What do you think about the prospect of converting urban land into vertical farms?  Let us know in the comments.

No comments: