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Green Rooftop Farms: Solution to Depleting Food Resources and Urban Green Spaces

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brooklyn-grange-farmFood security is one of the most pressing issues that governments around the world will have to tackle, as outlined in the latest IPCC report. Depleting resources due to climate change, coupled with the rapid growth in population size, urge scientists and various organizations to find new and sometimes not-so conventional solutions. A newly emerging practice, which is becoming more and more popular in urban environments, is rooftop farming.

The concept is receiving more and more attention as city officials around the world are now more than ever eager to join the so-called rooftop-farm movement. Here are some of the success stories.

In a space of five years, the concept of roof-top farming, also known as green roofs, has moved from virtually non-existent to a remarkable and highly desirable practice in a growing number of cosmopolitans around the world. Singapore, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Montreal, New York, these are only a selected few of the world’s capitals that can now proudly showcase the elegant solution to lack of green spaces in urban environments. Now, let’s look at some of these in more detail.

Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest rooftop farm is based in New York. Back in 2010 when the concept was introduced by Ben Flanner, the project was very much experimental. Although still quite impressive, the rooftop farm at that time covered only 6,000-square foot area. Thanks to the incredible dedication and hard work of the team, however, in no time, the small pilot project expanded to its current size of 2.5 acres on two buildings in New York. The produce is 100% organic and it is sold to local restaurants and at the farm itself. On yearly basis, the farm produces more than 50,000 pounds of crops and vegetables, it is a home of chickens and beehives, and it is a venue for various events and school programs.

Rooftop farming is becoming more popular across the U.S.. Chicago is the leader in turning rooftops into green spaces, but growing number of initiatives are taking place also in Boston and various cities around Texas.

A quick reminder of another similar project, which we told you about not long ago, this time conducted in Amsterdam. There, the initiative was taken to a whole new level, where not only green rooftops are encouraged, but also the citizens are given financial incentives to donate their urine, which is then used as a natural fertilizer in the rooftop farms.  Another related story comes from Israel, where the concept went even further. University of Haifa opened a whole research center for green roof ecology, aiming to use the practice as a mean to improve buildings energy efficiency and minimize environmental damage.

Image (c) Brooklyn Grange

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