Rooftop gardens in cities could provide more than three quarters of the vegetables consumed in them, a case study from Bologna, Italy, suggests. If all suitable flat roof space was used for urban agriculture, rooftop gardens in the city could supply around 12 500 tons of vegetables a year whilst also providing a range of ecosystem services, the researchers say.
Source: Orsini, F., Gasperi, D., Marchetti, L., et al. (2014). Exploring the production capacity of rooftop gardens (RTGs) in urban agriculture: the potential impact on food and nutrition security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services in the city of Bologna. Food Security 6(6): 781-792. DOI: 10.1007/s12571-014-0389-6.
Any unused roof space in a city represents an opportunity to add to that city’s green infrastructure. Urban green spaces and infrastructure, which include rooftop gardens, offer benefits for both wildlife and people. Not only can they produce food for city-dwellers, they can increase urban biodiversity and link together to form green networks, acting as corridors for wildlife. They can also reduce a city’s ecological footprint by filtering polluted air, absorbing noise and CO2 emissions, and controlling temperature by shading.