“We’ve got to work with underutilized space in the city that no one else otherwise would make use of because we can’t possibly afford land in the city it’s just too expensive – same as it is here in SF.”
Recently, Anthony took a trip to Israel where he had a chance to meet one of the pioneers of urban agriculture in Tel Aviv, Lavi Kushelevich. Before Lavi, urban agriculture was only about community gardens in Tel Aviv. Now, Lavi is growing over 15,000 leafy green plants per month on top of a shopping mall in the heart of Tel Aviv and advocating the promises that urban agriculture can have in his water-constrained part of the world.
What can we learn from urban agriculture in other cities? Through Anthony’s trip, we have been inspired to take a closer look at the state of urban agriculture technology in other parts of the globe and answer questions like: How do we compare the state of urban agriculture in Tel Aviv, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, and Tokyo to name a few cities? What’s working? How can we help?
In this third episode of The UAT Forum, “Speaker Series”, we investigate the state of urban agriculture in one of the most inhospitable places to cultivate food: Tel Aviv, Israel
Moderated by Anthony Krumeich
Special thanks to ECO-SYSTM for hosting The UAT Forum!
Presentation from the event
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[11:20] Why Israel is a leading place for resource-conscious farming
[13:00] Why Anthony was excited to visit Tel Aviv
[13:55] How Israel can be seen as a microcosm of where the world is headed (i.e., managing resources in a high population density urban center)
[16:00] Tel Aviv and high tech
[17:30] What’s going on in Tel Aviv and urban agriculture today
[19:00] About Lavi and his hydroponic rooftop farming system on top of a mall
[25:30] Does Israel face the same challenges that indoor farmers elsewhere do?
[28:00] Lavi’s areas of focus with his business: commercial production, education, policy
[29:50] Upcoming ballot measure in San Francisco to allow repurposing rooftop. What challenges has Lavi faced with rooftop farming?
[31:30] Anthony describes his visit to Lavi’s farm.
[36:30] Questions from the audience (see below).
[56:00] What else can we learn from Israel?
[57:50] Urban AgTech’s new City Profiles Initiative
Questions from the audience
[36:40] Why is Lavi’s farm not considered one by the city?
[37:40] How does Lavi run his business?
[40:10] How receptive has the city been to hydroponically grown food?
[42:00] Is the lettuce required to be sold at a premium?
[44:30] Did Lavi mention any problems he is having that can be solved by tech?
[46:50] Does Lavi see his farm as an experimentation ground?
[50:10] Did you talk with Lavi about pest management?
[53:00] If labor is a high cost, how could sensors help?