Food production on the roofs of buildings is economically profitable and ecologically desirable.


Urban agriculture is booming. Abandoned lots, roofs, balconies, ceilings, ... anything goes to make cities more sustainable. The productions can be economically profitable and environmentally in the city of Barcelona.

The roofs and the roofs of urban buildings have not been used historically very thing. It just had to be covered with waterproof and thermal insulation and used to put various services such as antennas, lightning rod or air conditioning equipment. But a new use charge weight. Urban agriculture is increasingly widespread in big cities in the world. They use wasteland by the crisis, roofs of industrial buildings, balconies, terraces, etc. It has even reached the roof of the bus.

The purposes may be different. From a purely comfort citizen green roofs reduce consumption in air conditioning in summer by 25% and reduce heat loss in winter by 50%, with a non-negligible savings and a reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases considerably, in addition to serving as acoustic insulation. The latter effect is enhanced especially with the proliferation of vertical gardens.

Others are to increase biodiversity functions, getting the most pleasant spaces for citizens to confront social problems, reduce the heat island effect that occurs in large cities, reduce pollution, regulate the flow of water systems city ​​drainage, etc.

0 km food production is one of the possibilities, both domestic and commercial. In some cities installed on industrial farms that distribute their products directly to small commercial distributors.   There are at least 13 farms in Chicago on the roof and soon will open the world's largest. Other cities also have such as New York, Toronto, Paris, London, Amsterdam, ... in Germany between 15 and 20% of the flat roofs since 2010 were organic.

To meet the challenges of food production in a way that respects the environment, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has called on cities to develop 'living walls' of edible plants. Thanks vertical farming, agriculture could soon be part of the urban environment and reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and resource consumption in food production. Lowering the distances they must travel products from production areas to the table and it was necessary to use heavy machinery, vertical farming can reduce CO2 emissions. In this type of crop can be used hydroponic production techniques and aeropòniques, although there is no consensus on whether it would be feasible production in the winter due to lack of light without artificial lighting support.

A doctoral thesis carried out by researcher Esther Sanyé-Mengual in Barcelona concluded that it would be economically viable and the volume of agricultural production on premises: with 8% of the roof of the Zone could supply tomato 10% Barcelona .

The requirements imposed by the study were at least 500 square meters, sufficient sunshine, outstanding structural strength and suitable for the installation of greenhouses. Half of the commercial buildings could be used now, but industrialists are showing greater potential for the result of their sizes. The overhead due to take place on the roof would be amply compensated by savings in transport, packaging ...

This work establishes that fruit crops such as tomatoes, have a lower environmental impact and better economic results than leaf crops, given their greater productivity, better use of space and lower consumption of resources .

Some examples Sustainable Map Barcelona +
Allotment Hotel Omm
North Area Library
Wall green garden Tarradellas

Related news
With 8% of the roof of the Zone could supply 10% of tomato Barcelona Magazine Institute of Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB). 12-09-2015


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