Rooftop and Wall Gardens decrease energy costs and deliver fresh produce!

One of the latest developments in urban design are rooftop gardens and landscaping walls.
Architects all over the world are proving that sustainable, urban agriculture can be economically valuable in the city.

rooftop garden
Image from Green Roof Garden.

Portland's Vertical Garden on Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal building
Image from
Portland’s Vertical Garden on Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal building.

It is green roof gardens that allow bringing vegetation into cities in a big way. The concept is surprisingly as simple as growing various plants up the outer walls and on rooftops. Remember one of the captivating wonders of the ancient world – Babylon Gardens?

Modern architects use concept of “Semiramida Gardens” allowing buildings to reduce heat island effects and to use less energy, saving on annual energy costs.

In the past green roof gardens were attractive and practical, but not edible.
This was until someone with a creative spark decided to make green roofs twice as useful and productive and use rooftop gardens as a source of fresh produce. Now green roof gardens are tied to restaurant businesses. And what could be more ingenious? The food that is used in exquisite culinary creations in the kitchens below grows right on the rooftops of restaurants all over the world!

Let’s take a look at some of the restaurants that implement green roofing produce in their everyday menus…

Green Roof
Image by Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago – Uncommon Ground restaurant rooftop garden.

Uncommon Ground restaurant in Chicago has a 2,500 square-foot rooftop garden. The executive chef tells the Chicago Sun-Times: “We just used the peppers from the garden and stuffed them with chorizo. When things from the farm are ready, we’ll incorporate it however we can. I come up once a day to see what’s ripe and ready.”

green roof gardens
Image by Bonnie Alter. Toronto – Fairmont Royal York green roof.

In Toronto, at the Fairmont Royal York, twelve apprentice chefs grow a vegetable and herbs garden, also keeping bees on their roofs.

green roof gardens
Image by Blueberry Farmers T&F. Ginza, Tokyo – bees on the roofs.

In Ginza, Tokyo an NPO, Ginza Mitsubachi Project manages to keep some 150 thousand bees with 260kg of honey gained each year. The honey is used in sweets by a celebrated confectionery shop.

green roof gardens
Image from New York City – Hydroponic Farm.

New York City’s First Rooftop Hydroponic Farm has been installed and is expected to produce 30 tons of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs annually from its rooftop garden.

Sun Works - science barge
Image by NYBTA. The Science Barge.

Sun Works, the people who built the Science Barge – An Urban Farm that Floats and Grows in NYC, state that New York’s 14,000 acres of unshaded rooftop could feed as many as 20 million people a year, far more than the whole population of the city.

Alexis Rochas rooftop garden in LA
Image from Architects Newspaper. Rooftop garden in Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, architect Alexis Rochas has put a rooftop garden on an old Holiday Inn that was converted to a condominium. See him talking about this project below.

These are just a few examples of creative uses of rooftops and walls gardens. Technology is moving forward and with a little bit of good will and a whole lot of imagination, there is hope for a wonderful and green future for our cities.



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