One Aquaponic Rooftop Farm to Go Please
June 25, 2014 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
It’s hard to disagree with the fact that urban rooftops could provide a huge playground for urban farmers. Rooftop gardens do exist of course, but in a city like New York with an endless number of industrial buildings, there could absolutely be more.
Part of the challenge, aside from policy makers and building codes, is that building a highly productive rooftop garden is not a skill that many people have. Add that to building one on top of an industrial building that could be hundreds (thousands if we are talking skyscrapers) of feet tall, and the obstacles thicken.
With a dedicated intention to make urban industrial rooftop gardens abundant, Urban Farmers in Basel, Switzerland have designed something phenomenal.
They’ve made two prefab modules that respond to the necessities of growing food in the city. One of the modules is an aquaponic greenhouse for the production of fish and vegetables. The other module is comprised of the containers for all other activities, such as administration, storage, rest rooms, etc. With these components (and a fire security staircase), virtually any flat industrial building rooftop can be prepped for an awesome aquaponic urban farm.
The modules themselves are amazing but what happens with them is game-changing. The modular pieces are “dropped” on the rooftop, and can be organized into different layouts depending on the needs of that particular urban farm, as well as its size. One, UF001 LokDepot, is currently in operation.
The result: a city rooftop becomes an aquaponic farm wherein the fish nourish the vegetables and the vegetables in turn clean the water for the fish. Not to mention, it’s stylish.
It would be so exciting to see systems like this become the norm. Creating and providing easy access to natural foods in the city would greatly improve the quality of life for the urban population. There are so many rooftops of so many buildings—let’s put them to work.