New York Sun Works

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The 2050 City

The 2050 City: Gregory Kiss

Gregory Kiss has been working to advance the art and technology of environmentally responsible architecture for over 20 years. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University, he became a founding partner of Kiss + Cathcart Architects in 1983.

Mr. Kiss has designed and consulted on many ground-breaking high performance building projects in the Americas, Europe and Asia. His ongoing research into the functional and aesthetic improvement of photovoltaics for buildings has led to several new products and systems. He has authored a number of technical manuals for the Department of Energy, and lectures frequently on recent advances in solar technologies and their potential for integration into architectural design.Mr. Kiss’s projects include Bushwick Inlet Park, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the Bronx River Greenway River House, both for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Other projects include solar and sustainable housing in the Netherlands, the PV system at 4 Times Square, the Bocas del Toro Station for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, the photovoltaic glass train shed for New York City Transit’s Stillwell Avenue Terminal in Coney Island, and a photovoltaic manufacturing facility for Heliodomi in Greece.

In addition to his work at Kiss + Cathcart, Greg Kiss is cofounder of Native American Photovoltaics (NAPV), a non profit venture on the Navajo reservation in Arizona.

Vertical Farming is Here

Vertical Farming is Here: Dickson Despommier

Dickson Despommier holds a PhD from the University of Notre Dame, an MS from Columbia University, and a BS from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has spent the past thirty-eight years as a professor at Columbia University teaching microbiology, environmental science and medical ecology with a focus on direct environmental influences on human health. He has been extensively involved in lab-based research on parasites and has authored three books on this topic, including West Nile Story.

Dr. Despommier is internationally known for developing the concept and championing the idea of vertical farming. He recently presented his revolutionary ideas in his new book: THE VERTICAL FARM: Feeding the World in the 21st Century. As a result of this work he has been interviewed by The Economist, TIME, and has made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Discovery Channel, The Big Think, and The Colbert Report.

Despommier is currently investigating how agriculture can be adapted and integrated into urban environments. He envisions multi-story indoor farming facilities that will allow for a year-round supply of fresh, organic, and locally grown food. Such an endeavor would benefit the environment by enabling existing farmland to return to its natural state and restoring the natural functions and services of the pre-existing ecosystems there. “As we face the challenges of rapid population growth, climate change, and dwindling resources, it’s clear that we need to find alternative sources of food, water, and energy to meet the world’s ever-growing demands for these necessities. Moving our agricultural systems into high-rise city buildings,” says Despommier, “would transform the way we grow fruit, vegetables, poultry, and fish, and alleviate many of the serious environmental problems we are currently facing.” Hydroponic technology (soil-less growing) is a key component of these proposed vertical farms. Dr. Despommier is a long-term member of New York Sun Works Advisory Board.