Farming on rooftops – from Brussels to Frisco Bay via Paris

Rooftop farming has featured widely this last month when it comes to news. From Brussels to San Francisco via Paris a number of projects highlight the growing interest in urban farming on roofs.



Farming on green roofs London
Urban food growing on Offices in London

Brussels Delhaize store will be farming vegetables on the rooftop

Shoppers at one Delhaize store in Brussels need no longer question how fresh the produce is. Because the chances are it came from the roof of the store. The supermarket chain plans to create a 320 square-metre kitchen garden on the roof of its Boondaal branch in Elsene – half open-air and half in a greenhouse. That would allow the garden to produce food year round.

The produce will be available to customers in limited amounts. Although the urban agriculture farm will not use pesticides, the produce will unfortunately not be able to be labelled organic. Apparently this only applies to food grown at grown level.

The company said it would look into ways to involve the community in the garden, as well as organising tours for schools and other groups. “By creating an educational programme, Delhaize wants to stress the importance of this sort of project, while at the same time strengthening its links with the community,” the company said.

Office workers take to farming on their roof in Paris

Roof top community garden in Paris
Roof top community garden in Paris

Le Bon Marche and La Grande Epicerie, two landmark Paris luxury stores have turned their joint rooftops into an urban garden. Staff are allowed to take part in urban agriculture in their spare time. 200 employees grow 60 or so kinds of fruit, vegetables and herbs such as strawberries, zucchinis, mint and lavender.

Paris specifically has an aim of 30,000m2 of space set aside for urban agriculture. This is part of its plan for 100,000m2 of new green space within the city by 2020. This includes green roofs walls and at street level. Therefore the stores 700m2 urban farm is at the forefront of the city’s urban gardening drive.

Staff are using green roofs to grow food all over the world. In London we are aware of several such roofs on corporate headquarters in the City of London. Nomurra and Evershed’s are two such companies that have provided space for their staff to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers.


Food growing on a rooftop in London
Food growing on a rooftop in Hackney London

Farming and professional football don’t traditionally go hand-in-hand

Another urban agriculture project has appear above the 49ers stadium in San Francisco. The Levi’s Stadium unveiled the first-ever rooftop farm on a professional sports arena. The rooftop farm has been producing summer squash, herbs, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and other vegetables since July. The urban food project will produce 68kg produce per week from the 2500m2 green roof. The 40 rotating crops that will be used for dishes served in club spaces at the stadium in addition to 200-plus private events every year.