From Grey to Green: Europe’s largest Sky Garden opens to the Public

An exciting project is developing in Berlin right now. In the middle of the densely populated German capital a group of volunteers are building Europe’s largest community roof garden on a parking deck. The 12.000 m² surface has not been used since 2003. 22 meters above ground level vegetables, fruits and herbs will be growing in the near future on euro pallets, in carton boxes and in rice bags.

Everybody can join in; there will be community beddings which can be cared for by groups of people and other lots which can be rent. The main idea behind the Himmelsbeet (Sky garden), as it is called, is that people are being brought together through working with natural resources and that city dwellers learn how to  produce own food from regional grounds. Schools and kindergardens can go there to teach the children about planting and growing, there will be workshops about gardening and even a café on the rooftop. The demand is high for such a project, there are already waiting lists for the beddings.

The project is depending on donations, the organization is non-profit based and needs support. The company Neudorff is donating soil and other materials.

The roof garden will be open for the public in May and the initiators are more than excited about. this europewide unprecedented gardening project ; if it were successful it could be a great example for other cities worldwide. 

Further Information:  Himmelsbeet / Neudorff

Creating the Greenest City: Vancouver 2020 Action Plan

We all want to live in a city that is vibrant, affordable, and sustainable. We value the beauty of our natural setting, and rely on the prosperity that has been created from our abundant natural resources.

The Greenest City 2020 Action Plan (GCAP) for Vancouver builds on the 2009 work of Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Greenest City Action Team. This group of local experts researched best practices from leading green cities around the world, and established the goals and targets that would make Vancouver the world’s Greenest City.

During the development of the GCAP, many people gave their time and ideas. More than 35,000 people from around the world participated in the process online, through social media, and in face-to-face workshops or events. More than 9,500 people, most of whom lived in Vancouver, actively added their ideas, insights, and feedback to help determine the best path to achieve this plan.

The race to become the Greenest City in the world is both a friendly and fierce competition. It’s friendly because when one city succeeds, we all benefit from the shared knowledge and improved health of our planet, as well as the new opportunities that emerge in the green economy. The race is a fierce one because the stakes are so high. In fact, the kind of change needed for all of us to thrive in healthy and prosperous communities requires a world full of Greenest Cities.

For further information: vancouver.ca/greenestcity

 

Improving the Garden Centre Industry Worldwide

The International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) provides valuable benefits for members around the world. Its key event each year is the International Garden Centre Congress held in a different country every year and provides unrivalled networking opportunities for members. The Congress sees over 200 of the best Garden Centre operators in the world meet together for one week and visit the best in Garden Centre retailing that the host country has to offer.

Milton Vadoulis from Vadoulis Plants Plus, Australia said: “We are a long way from the rest of the world in Australia but by attending IGCA Congresses, I have been able to see the latest trends in plants, catering, giftware and all other garden-related products. The Congress has helped me improve my business plus lift sales and profitability. The networking and communication opportunities with my peers provided by the Congress are an added benefit for my business.” John Zaplatynsky from Gardenworks, Canada said: “I have attended five Congresses now and there is no doubt that the ideas I have picked up have made a huge difference to my business. I now have friends in Garden Centres around the world and we discuss trends as well as very important business statistics such as wages to sales, average sale and many other areas that help us all. We are able to exchange ideas with members via Facebook and get great value out of the quarterly International E-News. One important aspect of the Congress is a working programme for younger employees and managers.”

The International Garden Centre Association is an independent not for profit organization committed to the continuous improvement of the international garden centre industry through co-operation with global partners to align international, regional and industry agendas. The Congress was held in Germany this August and will be in Australia in 2013 and Ireland in 2014. We ask you to contact us, enquire about joining and start benefiting.

Further information: intgardencentre.org

World’s Largest Rooftop Farm Planned for Brooklyn Making New York the Model for Urban Agriculture

A multi-acre farm will be built on 100,000 square feet of rooftop space in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park—making it the largest rooftop farm in the world.

The state-of-the-art, hydroponic greenhouse is being built by BrightFarms, Inc. in partnership with Salmar Properties LLC. The farm will grow up to 1 million pounds of local produce per year, including tomatoes, lettuces and herbs, which will cultivate a new national model for urban agriculture.

The rooftop farm will be built on Federal Building #2, renamed Liberty View Industrial Plaza, an 8-story 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse building. Salmar Properties’ redevelopment of the building, coupled with BrightFarms’ visionary rooftop design, is part of the Bloomberg administration’s plan to revitalize Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront.

The rooftop farm will both help revitalize the building and revolutionize local produce. It will grow enough crops to meet the fresh vegetable consumption needs of up to 5,000 New Yorkers, create jobs, and prevent as much as 1.8 million gallons of storm water from going into local waterways. By eliminating the length and complexity of the produce supply chain, this farm will grow produce that is fresher, tastier, and more sustainable than produce shipped across the country.

“The partnership between BrightFarms and Salmar Properties to build the world’s largest rooftop farm is an exciting new model for sustainable, urban agriculture,” says New York City Council Speaker, Christine C. Quinn. “The farm will contribute meaningfully to the mission of FoodWorks, my vision to improve NYC’s food system by dramatically increasing local food production while positively affecting public health, the economy, and the environment.”

For further information: brightfarms.com

 

Towers of Trees – Vertical Forests in the Sky

The Vertical Forest project aims to build high-density tower blocks with trees within the city.

The first example of a Bosco Verticale/Vertical Forest is currently under construction in the Garibaldi Repubblica area in Milan, with two towers which are 80 metres and 112 metres tall respectively, and which will be able to hold 480 big and medium size trees, 250 small size trees, 11.000 groundcover plants and 5.000 shrubs (the equivalent of a hectare of forest). The Vertical Forest has at its heart an concept of architecture which demineralises urban areas and uses the changing shape and form of leaves for its facades, and thus which hands over to vegetation itself the task of absorbing the dust in the air, and of creating an adequate micro-climate in order to filter out the sunlight. This is a kind of biological architecture which refuses to adopt a strictly technological and mechanical approach to environmental sustainability.

Vertical Forest increases biodiversity. It helps to set up an urban ecosystem where different kinds of vegetation create a vertical environment which can also be colonised by birds and insects, and thus becomes both a magnet for and a symbol of the spontaneous recolonisation of the city by vegetation and by animal life. The creation of a number of vertical forests in the city will be able to create a network of environmental corridors which will give life to the main parks in the city, bringing the green space of avenues and gardens and connecting various spaces of spontaneous vegetation growth.

Trees are a key element in understanding architectural projects and garden systems. In this case the choice of the types of trees was made to fit with their positioning on the facades and in terms of their height, and took two years to conclude alongside a group of botanists. The plants used in this project will be grown specifically for this purpose and will be pre-cultivated. Over this period these plants slowly got used to the conditions they will be placed in on the building.

For further information: stefanoboeriarchitetti.net