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City Rooftop Greenhouses

With more and more people moving into the city, urban farming will be required to feed our communities. Less people are choosing to farm meaning our food comes from non-local sources. Worse than that, much of the food we access is genetically modified. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

We may be short on agricultural land but we are certainly not short on space. Rooftop greenhouses are popping up in cities across Canada. Montreal’s Lufa Farms is a fantastic example of a successful rooftop garden.

Added to the recent controversy over the loss of valuable, northeast agricultural land, it’s possible we’re going to need to find other options. Better to start now than wait until it’s too late. Edmontonians keen to keep our food production local and sustainable need to gather, brainstorm, plan and execute. I propose creating a committee of experts, advocates and leaders to work through the stages required to transform drab, under-used Edmonton rooftops into beautiful, sustainable, healthy gardens.

reileycat 22 Added 1492 days ago

22 Responses

  • 1
    13/03Joined

    Excellent idea. I often thought the space of my downtown condo (when I lived there) was completely wasted. It was a huge, flat gravel roof that wouldn’t be shaded by anything. A garden would be excellent up there.

  • 8
    13/03Joined

    Not trees, greenhouse. And not skyscrapers, industrial buildings. Take a look at the Lufa Farm’s link and you’ll see my vision.

    • 8
      13/03Joined

      Thanks for the support, Kevin! I think it’s a fabulous use of space and if the footprint of our city continues to grow, we’re going to need to find innovative ways to utilize what we already have going for us.

  • 1
    13/04Joined

    This is the kind of idea that’s right up my alley! Would love to support and volunteer for such an idea. I am not sure at the moment about city bylaws etc., whether they allow or prohibit this, but if this is a possibility, we must get it done.

    I would go one step further and say that we recycle hot air that is released in winter from steam heaters to be used to heat the raised bed in the urban greenhouse/cold frame (cold frames might work better in some buildings at least). Let’s make this happen!

    • 8
      13/03Joined

      Thanks so much for the support Addie! I agree, there’s a lot to consider with a project like this but we need to get the ball rolling. I anticipate working with many facets of the community to make this a success; city council, horticulturists, engineers, passionate citizens looking to improve our city. I’ll count you in!

      There are so many technologies being developed to improve the way we grow our food. Recycling hot air, collecting rain water, it’s all part of it. I was just reading about a vertical farm in Vancouver’s Gastown and am fascinated by their approach. Take a read if you’re interested.

      And here’s a video that explains more about vertical gardening, this one’s just outside of Chicago.

  • 1
    13/04Joined

    Love it, great idea Jessica, this idea can be replicated again and again throughout the city. Healthy food and the opportunity for residents to use their green thumbs!

    Dianne

  • 1
    13/04Joined

    I’m fully in agreement with this. I’ve worked on green roofs- three in the city of Edmonton in fact and all were well received and beneficial. A garden that would create a productive means would make it more financially feasible and cost effective. Sadly, the construction and design of such roofs makes it time and labour intensive, and thus expensive. I suggest connecting with Michael Walters and myself about launching this idea on the Petrolia Strip Mall Revitalization initiative. I’m also involved with an organization called Green Roof Consortium so there’s not shortage of people and organizations that will do this- now all we need is the investment and business structure. Feel free to email me if you want to meet/chat about ideas on how move forward- taoqueen @ gmail.com.
    -K

    • 8
      13/03Joined

      It’s so awesome to hear from you, Karolina! I’d love to chat more about the possibilities, challenges and successes of a project like this! Regardless of the funding, I’d love to get the ball rolling and I think the first steps are getting the right group of people together; leaders, investors, engineers, horticulturists, supports and passionate volunteers. I’ll be emailing you for you sure. You can also reach me anytime at welcome @ projectholt.com should you be inspired to share some stories. Thanks for commenting!

    • 8
      13/03Joined

      Thanks! That’s what I was thinking. There are such great examples already succeeding at this on a large scale.

  • 1
    13/04Joined

    Been looking into these things for some time, I think its an awesome idea! I even looked at going to school for just that purpose, but ended up in Environment from a slightly different angle, but a definite place of interest for me.

    This might be of interest: (http://www.lactuca.ca)