Overpopulation is a world problem. The example of China, the world‘s most populous country, in particular shows that we must find new solutions for the use of living space. Most of the territory cannot be used because of its high mountains. The 1.4 billion Chinese inhabitants are crowded together in the flatter areas near the sea. Because of the growing birth rate, cities will expand to the mountainous regions. Furthermore, they have to find a new way of dealing with climatic conditions and vegetation in these areas.
One solution seems to be in plant epigenetics. Results from plant research suggest that changing the concentration of the root hormone cytokinin could be relevant for the future. (See Aloni et. al. 2006) Lowering the concentration leads to strengthening of the roots. This means that more minerals can be accumulated in the root. The plant becomes larger and more resistant, this way more food can be grown. Perhaps roots might be able to break up mountain structures and thus provide raw materials for building cities.
More about the Art For Futures Lab here