Rethinking “grow it THERE and eat it HERE.”
The future of global food production will mandate a paradigm shift from traditional practice to resource leveraged and environmentally optimized urban food growing solutions. The MIT CityFARM is an anti-disciplinary group of engineers, architects, urban planners, economists and plant scientists exploring and developing of high performance urban agricultural systems.

Through innovative research and development of hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic production systems, novel environmental, diagnostic and networked sensing, control automation, autonomous delivery and harvest systems, data driven optimization and reductive energy design; MITCityFARM methodology has the potential to reduce water consumption for agriculture by 98%, eliminate chemical fertilizers and pesticides, double nutrient densities and reduce embodied energy in produce by a factor of ten.

By fundamentally rethinking “grow it THERE and eat it HERE” to “grow it HERE and eat it HERE” we will dramatically reduce environmental contamination and depletion while creating jobs for a rapidly urbanizing global workforce and increasing access to diverse and affordable nutrient dense produce in our future cities.


The Urban Agriculture Facade

The Urban Agriculture Facade takes our existing research and combines it with architectural research on light, spatial dynamics and building systems. Whereas most hydroponic and aeroponic systems rely specifically on internal light sources and single use space, this project is a unique exploration of how these systems can integrate into existing urban buildings – turning them into producers of food. Given the high cost of securing urban real estate, an exploration of what is possible in existing and underutilized space has this become important contribution into the conversation of the future of urban agriculture. With the help of our sponsors, we are currently integrating our vision into the Media Lab.


Global Open CourseWare
Traditional agricultural research is extremely opaque and difficult to access. The Open Agriculture project seeks to change that by providing a platform for global researchers to share their data, discuss their findings, and work to advancing the common cause of improving crop yields globally by making all the world’s agriculture information open and accessible. The recently launched OpenAG project is seeking strategic partners from industry, government and academia to develop the world’s first open source “AG Tech” research collective for the creation of the global agricultural data commons.