GARDEN CITY - TOKYO
Once the domain of rural backwaters, farming in Japan is undergoing an urban makeover. From sweet potatoes on skyscraper rooftops to rice fields in office basements, a growing number of urban farms are taking root in Tokyo.
Businesses are transforming empty spaces into green havens in a bid to reduce global warming while revitalising an ailing farming industry. Long working hours, the recession and food safety concerns following a string of scandals further boost the appeal of urban farming.
Meanwhile, Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara is encouraging companies across the capital to introduce plant and vegetable gardens on top of skyscrapers in a effort to reduce overheating in the capital city. In the financial district, Otemachi, six urban farmers toil among potatoes and pumpkins in a futuristic basement space operated by the human resources company Pasona (pictured). this urban farm - which used to be the vault of a major bank - is maintained using computer-controled artificial light and temperature management.
«Our mission is 'to solve society's problems'," says a spokeswoman. «The farming population is declining in Japan. Our goal is to create job opportunities in the agriculture section." The company's workers eat the produce.
in MONOCLE, Fevereiro 2009
FOTO: Alfaces a crescer numa antiga caixa-forte de banco em Tóquio!