City: Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm’s population will reach close to one million people in the next few years and the city will have to face a challenge familiar to most growing urban areas – how to feed an expanding population without depleting available land and resources.
Belatchew Arkitekter has developed a scenario for Stockholm to become self-sufficient in its production of a key food group, protein, using available land in the city. The first step in their vision for the future, however, requires residents to gain a new appreciation for the source of that protein – insects.
There are approximately 1900 edible species of insects, and 2 billion of the world’s population already eats insects. Western diets have yet to gain a taste for insect protein, but future preferences may need to change as agricultural land becomes scarce. Insects represent a significantly more efficient form of protein in relation to the land needed for its production – while 10 kg fodder is needed to produce 1 kg of beef, the same amount of fodder can produce 9 kg of insects.
Belatchew Arkitekter has estimated that Stockholm already has enough land to produce all the protein its citizens need – land that is currently underutilized as roundabouts. By repurposing nine specific roundabouts throughout the city into insect farms and insect-based food production complexes known as “Buzzbuildings” Stockholm could become a pioneer in the global quest for future food solutions.
As the firm explains, “BuzzBuilding consists of a building that integrates the whole insect production flow, from the egg to the ready-to-eat insect. Additionally, BuzzBuilding is a safe haven for endangered wild bees, which, apart from ensuring endangered species of bees’ continued existence, also turns Stockholm into a blooming and fertile city.”
“The main structure is a steel exoskeleton, an outer skeleton, inspired by the structure of insects. On the ground floor there is a restaurant where insects are prepared and sold. The goal is to make the production public; in contrast to the hidden meat production it invites the public to observe and participate, and offers accessible knowledge about where our food comes from.”