Saturday 22nd October 2016                 Change text size:

City-based rooftop farms could revolutionise urban food sustainability

Photo: Justin Leonard via Flickr

Sustainable food ventures, and the introduction of small-scale rooftop farms, could hold the key to urban food sustainability globally. Where there’s a rooftop there could reside an urban food farm.

Last week at an international environmental conference organised by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), delegates and invited guests were exposed to a new concept of urban farming.

Dr Valentini Pappa, an SRUC researcher, is currently working with Zurich University of Applied Science and delivered a presentation at the event that explored the possibilities of urban farming – specifically aquaponic systems. In Zurich, Pappa and her team have been integral in devising a £500,000 aquaponic farm on a rooftop in the city of Basel.

This newly completed aquaponic complex has the capability of producing 5,000kg of vegetables and 800kg of fish each year. The facility came to fruition after a partnership was formed with Urban Farmers.

Speaking at the conference, Pappa said, “Aquaponics can help secure food security by increasing the food production within an already used space, and because the food is grown so locally these systems are very low in food miles.

The role of aquaponics in sustainable food production has been highlighted before on Blue & Green Tomorrow, with considerations being given towards how this farming method could enhance the efficiency of sustainable agriculture operations.

Further reading:

The role of aquaponics in food production: prepping for a sustainable future

Sustainable agriculture can help tackle climate challenges

Government should be ‘reinforcing a sense of urgency’ on sustainable food

Tackle food waste to tackle inequality, government report says

World wasting up to half of global food

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