12 Jun Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farms
Who is developing the project?
BEN FLANNER is widely considered a pioneer for his groundbreaking model, which adapts existing green roof technology to intensively cultivate vegetables, beginning with Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, a pilot project on a 6,000 square foot Brooklyn roof, which Ben co-founded in 2009. A year later, in 2010, Ben and his partners scaled up the model and, in 2010, launched Brooklyn Grange, a commercial-scale urban farming business, eventually expanding to 2.5 acres spanning two roofs.
The Flagship Farm was financed through a combination of private equity, loans, grassroots fundraising events, and the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.com. The Brooklyn Navy Yard farm and Sunset Park farm were made possible through traditional private equity and debt, as well as the Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Infrastructure Stormwater Management grant program, New York City’s innovative and proactive approach to managing combined sewer overflow.
Brooklyn Grange is the leading rooftop farming and intensive green roofing business in the US. We operate the world’s largest rooftop soil farms, located on three roofs in New York City, and grow over 80,000 lbs of organically-cultivated produce per year.
In addition to growing and distributing fresh local vegetables and herbs, Brooklyn Grange also hosts events and educational programming; designs, installs, and often maintains green spaces for clients all over the tri-state area, and provides urban farming and green roof consulting services to clients worldwide. The business also operates an apiary, keeping bees in dozens of naturally-managed hives, on roofs, backyards, and nooks dispersed throughout NYC.
Objectives of the Project
Having farms inside the city limits which take advantage of unused roofs to add much-needed green space is an opportunity not to be missed. Rooftop farms have the potential to improve urban ecology, enhance quality of life, create jobs, increase access to healthy fresh foods, and provide environmental and agricultural education to those of us who live in and love the city.
Tools and Methods
- participatory processes
- digital tools
- cultural heritage
- collective mappings (open cartographies)
- social innovation tools
- design thinking
- others: urban farming
The city will always rely on rural farmers for the bulk of our food, and the relationship between urban and rural communities must be respected and celebrated.
Selected tags about the project
- urban farming
- triple bottom line
How does it develop in time?
It started off in 2010 and now span three rooftops throughout NYC totaling 5.6 acres with 135,000 square feet of cultivated area producing over 80,000 lbs of organically-grown vegetables each year.
Customers pay fro the fresh produce
Reduce the amount of vegetables transported into the city, use rooftops, increase biodiversity.
How is it evaluated?