Gina Argento of New York owns and operates Broadway Stages, a premier film and television production studio with a commitment to renewable energy and environmental sustainability. With more than 100,000 square feet of solar and green rooftop infrastructure, Gina Argento discusses the impact of rooftop farming and its benefits.
Gone are the days when cities were loud, chaotic jungles of steel, smog, and concrete. Now, with rooftop farming, even apartment dwellers can benefit from lush green spaces, homegrown fruits and vegetables, and the environmental benefits of CO2-absorbing plant life says Gina Argento of New York. Although it does take a little bit of work, today’s cityscapes are quickly adapting to incorporate rooftop farms.
Most building owners and apartment dwellers have been happy to welcome the addition of a rooftop garden, like Broadway Stages. And, while the trend has mostly been limited to larger cities in the Western Hemisphere, it’s quickly spreading around the world. In this article, Gina Argento explores the finer details of rooftop farming, where it’s taking off, what’s being grown, and how it’s impacting urban landscapes.
What is Rooftop Farming and What Does it Involve?
Gina Argento of New York explains that rooftop farming is the practice of growing fruits, vegetables, and other plants on the rooftops of buildings. This type of agriculture can be found in both rural and urban areas, but it’s particularly well-suited for cities. This is because rooftops are often the only available green space in densely populated areas.
Rooftop farms come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as small as a few square feet or as large as an acre. They can be simple affairs with just a few potted plants or highly sophisticated operations with irrigation systems, greenhouses, and beehives says Gina Argento.
The type of farm will be determined by the space available, the climate, and the needs of the farmers. In some cases, farmers will lease space from a building owner. In others, they’ll purchase or rent a building outright.
Historical and Current Rooftop Farming
The practice of rooftop farming is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for centuries. One of the earliest examples comes from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. These gardens, which were built around 600 BCE, were located on a rooftop in the ancient city of Babylon to please Queen Amytis of Media, who missed the green mountains of her homeland reports Gina Argento of New York.
In recent years, though, there’s been a resurgence of interest in rooftop farming. This resurgence can be traced back to the 1970s when a group of ecologically minded individuals in New York City started a movement to “green the city.” One of the first projects of this group was the creation of a rooftop farm on a city-owned building in Lower Manhattan says Gina Argento of New York.
The farm, which was called the Green Guerrillas, was a success. It not only produced fresh fruits and vegetables for the community, but it also helped to beautify the neighborhood. The success of the Green Guerrillas inspired other groups to start their own rooftop farms.
Today, there are hundreds of rooftop farms in cities around the world says Gina Argento of New York. In the United States, there are farms in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, while Europe is home to farms in London, Paris, Berlin, and Barcelona. Meanwhile, in Asia, there are farms in Tokyo, Singapore, and Beijing.
The Benefits of Rooftop Farming
Rooftop farming offers a number of benefits to both cities and the people who live in them according to Gina Argento of New York. One of the most obvious benefits is the production of fresh fruits and vegetables. These farms can help to increase the supply of fresh, healthy food in cities, which is particularly important in “food deserts”, or areas where fresh food is difficult to find.
Rooftop farms can also help to improve the quality of the air in cities explains Gina Argento of New York. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which can help to reduce smog and car emissions. In addition, the plants can help to filter out other air pollutants commonly found in cities, such as physical particulate matter and ozone.
Rooftop farms can also help to cool cities. The plants can provide shade and evaporative cooling, which can help to lower the temperature of a city by a few degrees. This can be a particularly important benefit in hot, humid climates says Gina Argento of New York.
Finally, rooftop farms can help to create a sense of community. They can provide a gathering place for people to meet and socialize. They can also create green spaces in otherwise concrete jungles.
Final Thoughts on Rooftop Farming
Gina Argento of New York explains that modern rooftop farming is still in its infancy but it’s already having a positive impact on cities around the world. In the future, we can expect to see more farms pop up across city rooftops, as well as more innovative designs and methods of production.
The impacts of this trend will be felt not only in the form of fresh food and cleaner air, but also in the form of cooler temperatures, improved mental health, and a stronger sense of community.