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7B: Spira

Ms. Malzone
Crescent Academy International
12/18/14
Spira: A Legendary Solution
The city of Spira, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is known for being a
major Mediterranean port and commercial center. Once known as Barcelona, it was famed for its
individuality, cultural points of interest, and beauty. The climate of Spira is subtropical, with
mild winters and warm summers. Its terrain is coastal, surrounded by mountain ranges and lush,
colorful vegetation. The city now supports over 1.82 million people; however, it wasn’t always
this way.
Long ago, Spirans encountered problems such as malnourishment, lack of fresh water
sources, and poor air quality. Due to their limited agricultural experience, Spira relied on
imported food. Consequently, Spirans were unfamiliar with the agricultural process and
therefore, didn’t understand that packaged foods contained GMO’s (Genetically Modified
Organisms). GMO’s lack much needed nutrients, which adversely affect health and cause
widespread malnutrition. Additionally, contaminated water posed a challenge to Spirans because
without a sufficient water source, crops were unable to sustain the city. The poor air quality
stunted the plants’ growth as well as the health of the citizens. Despite these challenges,
engineers were able to design a unique system using the space saving techniques of vertical and
underground farming, along with hydroponics, composting, smart-sprinklers, algae waterpurification farms and soil-drones. The algae farms provide purified water to help supply the city

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with clean water, as shown in Figure 1.These resources contribute to the growth of Quinoa and
Brale in order to address the growing needs of the community.

The essential crops of Spira, are Quinoa and Brale, a grafted vegetable consisting of
bamboo, broccoli, and kale. Quinoa contains 9 out of the 10 essential amino acids, and the one it
lacks, Arginine, is found in Brale. Quinoa also withstands high levels of salt, and can be irrigated
with purified seawater from the algae purification farms on Spira’s coasts. Brale was chosen as
Spira’s vegetable because it is low-calorie, and has high levels of all nine essential vitamins and
minerals. It is also ideal for growing in rough and extreme temperatures. Approximately, 1/4 cup
of Quinoa and about ½ a cup of Brale are the required intake amounts for each individual to eat
per day, and provide more than enough nutrients to keep citizens well-fed and energized. Quinoa
can be harvested after 90-120 days. Brale takes about 20 days to harvest. Both Brale and Quinoa

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require rich, aerated soil, fertilization every 6-8 weeks, and require at least 6 sq. inches of
growing space. They also grow better when fed compost or seaweed extracts.
The agricultural engineers of Spira have formulated a method of grafting Broccoli and
Kale, known as to Quinoa can be harvested after 90-120 days-grafting. By starting with the seed,
take the stalk of one plant and the branches of another. Meld them using an element from golden
bamboo that binds the plants together through the bamboo’s strength. Golden bamboo possesses
traits such as growth in many harsh climates and extreme growth speed, ranging from an average
of 36-39 inches a day. It can overcome weeds, obtain large amounts of sunlight because of its
size, and grow its roots faster, which gives the plant enough water to grow among other
competing weeds. Brale will acquire all these elements from the plant. Quinoa will be grown in
Spira’s revolutionary vertical. Farms, and Brale will be grown deep below the city in Spira’s
underground farms.
Spira’s vertical farms produce approximately 1,963,320 Quinoa and Brale plants per
building and can feed up to about 981,660 people per day. Spira has currently established about 4
major vertical farms around the city. Vertical farms, a technology previously used, had been
enhanced with solar panel fold outs allowing for the plants to be exposed to the outdoor climates
and natural energy when the weather permits. This enables the crops to get more natural sunlight
and rain instead of only artificial nutrients, making them more flavorful as well. Vertical farms
will save energy, water, and space, and when folded out, help decrease the urban heat island
effect, a minor problem in Spira associated with poor air quality. Only lightweight wafer-panels
which reduce the building’s load are used in Spira’s vertical farms. These panels compact the
bulky layers of traditional solar panels. A growing medium known as engineered soil is light, but

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contains identical nutrients to natural soil and contributes to lightening the load on a building
without absorbing a large quantity of water.
The city’s underground farms are innovative because the plants are grown on lightsensitive machines that shift so that each plant can get an ideal amount of sunlight. The sunlight
is then trapped by the strategically placed solar filters, which direct sunlight to crops so they
obtain enough light to grow. The moisture underground is collected and used by the smartsprinklers to water the crops. `

In Spira’s hydroponics method, tiny nozzles mist water and nutrients onto the roots of the
plants, but only release the amount that the plant requires. The excess returns to the nutrient
reservoirs underneath to be reused multiple times.

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Spira’s composting method is similar to garbage collection systems, and contributes to
fueling crop growth. Half of the compost is collected in a composting facility, where
microorganisms then break it down and convert it into energy that powers the city.

Three specific engineers were needed in forming Spira and formulating its revolutionary
city design plan. Agricultural engineers were needed in designing algae farms for the city, as
well as for monitoring pollution levels and the alternative energy being used in the city. With the
help of Civil engineers, Agricultural engineers also designed the infrastructure of the city,
including underground and vertical farms. Agricultural engineer’s work includes much of the
work of mechanical, environmental and geotechnical engineers, whose concerns are the
facilitation of Spira’s soil drones, solar wafers and hydroponics system. Through these solutions
and Spira’s expertise, the issues that swept the nation into disorder for decades, now have a
solution; Spira, the legendary city of the future.

Word Count: 999

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