The Plan to End Gentrification: Vertical Farming
Pilsen is a community that is glorified because of its strong Hispanic enclave along and beautiful ethnic landscape. Some residents go by the saying, “we shall not be moved.” (uic.edu) Pilsen shall stay a community that serves and strengthens the culture and protects the heritage of Latinos.
Solution to ending Gentrification
Recently, a coal plant, situated in Pilsen, was closed due to protests that argued the coal plant negatively impacted the people and environment in the community. (abclocal.go.com)The factory now sits abandoned, and Gary Solis, the Aldermen of Pilsen, is looking for innovative ways to use the land. I propose the building be transformed into a vertical farm. Vertical farms are farms created in abandoned factories. Each floor (or section) of the factory will grow different plant species. Vertical farms are easy to maintain and affordable. This vertical farm can serve as a community center, allowing residents to interact with one another and promote healthy eating. Crops produced by the vertical farm can be sold to subsidize the mortgage and rents of residents that are unable to afford to live in the increasingly gentrifying Pilsen. Other areas in Chicago have transformed factories into sustainable urban farms. One example is a meatpacking factory that was recently converted into a vertical farm. John Edel, the creator of this urban farm, says the purpose of his farm is to create an industry that will produce zero waste and employ over 100 people. Edel’s farm was supported by a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (cnn.com) An urban farm in Pilsen will support the economy and environment of Pilsen; moreover, the farm will employ residents of Pilsen and the farm will also conserve energy and produce little waste (similar to Edel’s farm), industries that produce a lot of waste can possibly diminish the environment and health of the community and its dwellers. The vertical farm will prepare Pilsen and Chicago for the future of farming; evidently, some predict that as the population increases much of the world will struggle to produce enough food and resources to feed everyone.Shockingly, “1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop.”(verticalfarm.com.) More importantly, the vertical farm will restore Pilsen’s strong Hispanic identity. In honor of Pilsen Hispanic enclave, the vertical farm will grow corn, frijoles (Mexican beans), tomatoes and other crops important to the Mexican culture.
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