Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First Roof-top Garden on Affordable Housing Project

Photo courtesy: BrightFarm Systems

It’s always a bonus when you receive more than one benefit from a single action. There’s an affordable housing project in the South Bronx, NY that promises to accomplish just that.

This affordable housing project is going to turn its 10,000 sq. ft. rooftop into a greenhouse-enclosed vegetable garden. Like many inner city, low income communities, the South Bronx suffers from food deserts, where residents lack access to fresh vegetables at affordable prices. The rooftop farm will make a significant contribution to food access and public health in the neighborhood. A network of rooftop farms could provide jobs for local residents as well as acting as a catalyst for the development of other sustainable food-related businesses in the area, such as new farmers' markets or food cooperatives.

There are those who feel that any of the extremely expensive urban real estate should be used by people only. However, these arguments seemed to be reserved for some of the farm/skyscraper ideas that have been put forth; not, for areas designated for growing that have been incorporated into the design of the building.

This rooftop garden will be incorporating many environmental elements such as harvesting rainwater for irrigation and utilizing the waste heat from the residences below to keep the plants warm. The farm will be able to produce enough fresh vegetables for approximately 450 people, capture 750,000 liters of stormwater, and mitigate 80 tons of CO2. A giant plus for the residents is that they will be able to enjoy this produce fresh from the rooftop above them. How fresh is that?! If interested, the residents may be able to get involved directly with their veggies; if not, it could be an employment opportunity for a neighbour. The garden will also help keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter.

For more rooftop garden reading, check out my blog: Roof-top (Urban) Gardens

Via TreeHugger

No comments: