Vertical Future launches to make cities healthier

Feb 28, 2017 · Agricultural, digital, and environmental technology initiatives used to tackle negative effects of urbanisation

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London, February 27th 2017 Vertical Future, a London-based technology start-up leveraging smart technologies to make cities healthier, has launched today. Founded by Jamie and Marie-Alexandrine Burrows, Vertical Future undertakes different technology initiatives using three urban themes: Food, Digital and Living.

Food – Controlling Agriculture to Offer Truly Local Food with Fewer Food Miles

Vertical Future’s agricultural initiative is a network of vertical farms across London using Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) technology – making use of disused buildings and recycled shipping containers. Each farm will provide high quality year-round produce for schools and local communities, create jobs, and improve awareness of food sustainability and healthy eating. The initiative addresses population growth in cities (United Nations, 2016) and the effect that this could have on urban food supply and demand. The first site in South East London will be operational from April 2017 and plans are being drawn up for a second site in North London.

Digital - Leveraging Digital Health Technologies to Help People Stay Healthy and Reduce Pressure on Health Services

The company is using digital health to target two key health service issues: prevention, which is an increasing priority in the NHS (King’s Fund, 2017), and patient follow-up, considering the increasing costs of an ageing population (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2017). Vertical Future’s first digital initiative supports people to be healthier through gamification and incentives. The second digital initiative uses smart data from real-world sources to provide people with additional support after leaving hospital. The Vertical Future team plan to launch the two initiatives this summer.

Living – Using Smart Technologies to Tackle Air Pollution

More than 3 million people globally die every year from air pollution (The Economist, 2017) and in most major cities (including London) air quality exceeds safe levels (World Health Organisation, 2016). Vertical Future’s environmental initiative is a product to limit the impact of urban air pollution and improve public understanding of environmental risk factors. The product is currently in the development phase with a prototype expected by August 2017.

"We want to make cities better for our children" explains Jamie Burrows. "Our various urban initiatives are long-term responses to tackle the negative effects of urbanisation. To promote fast and sustainable growth, we are looking to work with research organisations, investors, government, and third sector organisations that share similar views on health and urbanisation" he added.

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