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A New Type of Urban Agriculture: Rooftop Farm

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Dr. Suzanne talked about the definition of Urban Agriculture, it is different from landscape and planting for decoration but with some important connection with social, economical and of course, the physical aspects.

What’s more, the forms of urban agriculture are various. Not only the usage of green spaces, but also need to fit for the facade of cities. Nowadays we are facing the situation that having less room for open spaces, but there are still some creative ideas for us to use. In the case of Value Farm in Shenzhen, China, the designer successfully made the full use of flat roofs of the buildings, and made the idea spread to other cities and became bigger scales.

Floor Plan

Value Farm is based on post empty rooms and stores in industrial estate. As mentioned by designer, Value Farm is aiming to develop new value on wasted lands, and making farming on rooftop in Hong Kong as a type of living be spread into Shenzhen.

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Two aspects inspired the designer. The first one is comes from the trend of flourishing farming on the rooftop in urban area. Rooftop farm can not only improve the vertical greenery area of a city and reconnect urban citizen and natural planting, but also can provide more sustainable and safer food resource and the change of living attitude and style. The second inspiration is from the reconstruction of Graham Street market district in city center that with 170 years of history what changed the original urban structure. So generally speaking, the development of Value Farm is looking forward to digging up the history of Hong Kong, and cultivating a sustainable development future through rooftop farm.
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The spaces are divided with bricks, different plants will be planted by the height of soil, the past lift district also became a open roof to fulfill the requirement of future actives. The water for irrigating is from local underground water source. This area also planned with space for children, projection and exhibition.

Referece: Value Farm / Thomas Chung, available at

Resource of pictures:

One thought on “A New Type of Urban Agriculture: Rooftop Farm

  1. Hi Zhang Yun!

    Interesting article.
    It is true that lack of land issue continues to increase from day to day.
    Rooftop garden may be one of the right thing to do so that people can still gardening in areas with slightly open land, particularly in the city.

    But there are things you may also need to be considered from planting trees on the rooftop like this.
    there are some statements that develops among the architects, “Stop Putting Trees in Skycrappers”.
    Indeed, this statement refers more to the Skyscraper. But, I think its application is not much different from this rooftop garden.

    first, if we want to create a rooftop garden, the thing to be noted is the system of the building structure and waterways for irrigation. If we want to use the roof as a big enough garden, imagine the amount of the soil will be used so that the roof load will be heavier. Therefore, the structure may be important to considered before starting this rooftop garden. Then, of course we will water the plants to keep them alive. These waterways should also be considered. where it comes from and where its disposal. if not, maybe this will be a problem for the building.

    Then, what about the types of plants? whether all the plants can be planted here? given the strong winds above may be incompatible with some types of plants.

    Latsly, from some architectural projects that incorporate the elements ‘green’ into the project shows that the project would require more funds than usual projects without the elements ‘green’. This is due to the special treatment should be done so that the plants can live.

    Rooftop garden is not impossible thing to do. but from my perspective, this type of garden probably will require special treatment because of several reasons that I describe. But it actually makes me be very interested in the roof garden. Is a challenge if we can make a roof garden that could be mutually beneficial between the residents, the building and the plant itself, isn’t it? This is my response after reading the article about the “More reasons to stop putting trees on skyscrapers” and your articles. You can correct me if this view is wrong. It will be nice if we can find the best solution of it.

    This is the link about the article i mention before.

    Nice article Ann.

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