Multifunctional rooftop horticulture: a promising strategy for intensifying horticulture production in cities
This article (PDF) in Chronica Horticulturae argues that multifunctional rooftop horticulture is one of the more promising strategies to increase horticulture production in urbanized areas. It summarizes the different models and advantages of rooftop horticulture and provides a review of the main features of rooftop horticulture. It brings together existing experiences as well as suggestions for planning of future sustainable cities. Since rooftop horticulture experiences are “sprouting” all over the world, scientific evidence on the most suitable growing solutions, policies and potential benefits is growing. Urban horticulture is gaining more attention since it has the potential to increase resource efficiency, contribute to city food security and enhance associated ecosystems and social services. However, spaces available for cultivation are limited, thus leading to the need to explore innovative growing solutions, for instance, plant cultivation on building rooftops. Taking into account the multiple challenges cities face, rooftop horticulture is one form of urban horticulture that has specific potential in dense urban neighborhoods and in areas where land is scarce/polluted or highly priced. The authors argue that conversion of paved rooftops into urban green infrastructures seems a suitable strategy for most cities. However, further technological and policy development is required to design efficient rooftop horticulture systems that optimize space and their different benefits.