Urbanization is a global phenomenon that has brought about a host of complex challenges. These challenges include environmental degradation, water scarcity, pollution, reduced green spaces, and poor air quality. As a result, there is a global push towards sustainable solutions. One such solution is Mexico’s ORIGEEN’s VPOT system. It is a modular platform for urban agriculture that embodies the startup’s philosophy of returning to nature what humans have occupied. This is achieved by adapting to what already exists and creating more green spaces.
VPOT: Features and Functionality
VPOT is a system that enables the growth of green leafy vegetables in various indoor, outdoor, and vertical spaces, showcasing its adaptability. It is designed to be installed on walls or structures, and its irrigation system can adapt to either hydroponic or drip methods. An example of VPOT’s versatility is its upcoming installation in the walls of a hall at the first Dune Hotel in Mexico and Tulum. It has its own hydroponic vertical system and a controlled environment that includes natural light and GE lamps. The installation is set to take place in August of this year in a 5-star boutique hotel. Visitors to Tulum can witness VPOT in action, demonstrating its ability to transform spaces into food-producing, sustainable solutions for companies, restaurants, hotels, universities, and more.
Made from 100% recycled plastics, VPOT claims to emphasize sustainability through its material choice and recircle irrigation system. However, the effectiveness and environmental benefits of using recycled plastics in agriculture are areas that could benefit from more comprehensive research and validation.
Vertical Farming: A Growing Market
The vertical farming market, which includes systems like VPOT, is projected to reach $24.11 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 22.9% from 2021 to 2030. While this growth indicates interest in the field, it raises questions about scalability, long-term sustainability, and the potential impact on traditional farming practices.
Social and Environmental Considerations
ORIGEEN, a Mexican startup, presents its product as part of a broader mission to impact social, environmental, and economic spheres. They emphasize food security, psychological benefits, preserving natural resources, and circular economy principles. While these goals align with broader sustainability movements, quantifiable metrics and third-party validations of these impacts remain crucial for a complete understanding of the system’s effectiveness.
Accomplishments and Future Projections
ORIGEEN’s accomplishments include implementations in various communities and participation in industry events. The company plans further expansions, but monitoring these developments will be essential to assess the scalability and real-world efficiency of the VPOT system. Additionally, ORIGEEN offers a “Do It Yourself” e-commerce kit. The accessibility and practicality of this product for average consumers remain areas for exploration and potential scrutiny.
Urban farming and solutions like Mexico’s ORIGEEN’s VPOT system have emerged as possible responses to the challenges of urbanization. However, a comprehensive understanding of these solutions requires critically examining their features, benefits, and potential drawbacks.
The VPOT system presents a compelling concept in urban agriculture, yet its long-term impact on urban sustainability, the environment, and social well-being requires ongoing analysis and empirical evidence. In the rapidly evolving landscape of urban farming, innovations like VPOT offer promising avenues for exploration. Still, their place in the future of sustainable urban living must be evaluated with objectivity and a consideration of the broader context. With new and exciting installations such as the one in Tulum, VPOT is becoming a visible symbol of the potential for urban spaces to contribute to a more sustainable world.
Image provided by Origeen