It might be hard to think of a place like New York City as farmland, but rooftops all across one of the most populated metropolitan areas in the world could soon become fields of green, if an environmental proposal gets a thumbs up.
The proposed zoning changes would allow more greenhouses to be built on commercial buildings, and permit open air farms on both commercial and residential spaces, all to promote the development of local urban food production and to help grow jobs.
“This proposal is part of a larger proposal called ‘Zone Green’, which is a package of zoning changes that would make it easier for people to make existing and new buildings greener,” Howard Slatkin, director of Sustainability and Deputy Director for Strategic Planning for the Department of City Planning in New York says.
“The proposal would remove obstacles that exist in zoning to doing certain things that we know people want to do today, and rooftop farming is one of those.”
Slatkin says that there are buildings in and around New York City that have large flat roofs, particularly in industrial neighborhoods where a rooftop greenhouse would not interfere with any of the other building systems. “There are people who are already doing this today, but they run into a zoning height limits or a zoning floor area limit,” he says.
One example of rooftop farming success is Gotham Greens in Brooklyn, which yields over 100 tons of produce year-round, selling to local grocers and restaurants. Owners say they are in support of the zoning changes so that they can expand, and build more rooftop gardens, as well as see other businesses thrive.
Read more at Green Deals.