Atlanta 2040: What life will look like in the city’s third century

Kitchens will have a fridge, a freezer, and a growing unit

2040 housing
Illustration by Harry Campbell

By 2040, I see 10 percent of families in the city growing some of their own food inside because yards will be smaller. They’ll have a fridge, a freezer, and a growing unit. And there could be a social networking aspect of this: Let’s say you grow tomatoes in your apartment, and the guy down the hall grows jalapeños. Well, put them together, and you’ve both got salsa. It could be like a real-life FarmVille! It’s not just at the home level, though. I expect to see grocery stores getting into this general trend of food being grown closer to where it’s eaten. We just did an installation at Sevananda Natural Foods Market in Little Five Points, and now, they’re growing microgreens on-site. It’s great because microgreens are a nightmare to ship. That’s the case with a lot of lettuces, too: The ones that taste better are more delicate. You see so much iceberg lettuce around, even though it has no taste, because it ships well. This is a crop that has been chosen for shipping rather than for flavor. With the move to more local agriculture, not only are there benefits in the food being fresher and carbon emissions being lower but you also get the best-tasting varieties.

—Ruwan Subasinghe, founder of Replantable, which provides kits for growing produce indoors