Green Roofs in New York City

New York City is one of the most populated and crammed cities in the world. But recently, 2 rooftops in Queens, are now home to the first of its kind, rooftop farms. Of course many people have their own personal rooftop gardens but no group or company has implemented a large scale one acre farms.

The idea makers of this “green roof” is a company called Brooklyn Grange and they have conducted numerous rooftop gardens and built countless green spaces for promoting sustainable living in New York City. There business operates the “worlds largest rooftop soil farms, located on two roofs in New York City, and grow over 50,000 lb. of organically cultivated produce per year” (  What is so promising about this business is that not only does it turn unused roof tops into profitable and sustainable agriculture for local communities, but how they interact with the public to get them involved and informed on healthy living. Brooklyn Grange interacts with the community other than selling its produce by hosting events and educational programming, they provide “urban farming and green roof consulting and installation services to clients worldwide, and partners with numerous non-profit organizations throughout New York to promote healthy and strong local communities” (

brooklyn-grange-navy-yardA company like Brooklyn Grange is exactly the kind of honest, sustainable thinking that cities need more of. With their implementation of global consulting, they could influence people all over the world to start using their own unused space and transforming it into their own sustainable, organic produce. The biggest effect rooftop produce could have on the environment is an end to deforestation. It seems wrong of us all to not start our own rooftop agricultural areas so we can limit and hopefully one day eliminate our destruction of natural ecosystems.






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9 responses to “Green Roofs in New York City

  1. This is an awesome idea for conservation of space, especially in a large city like New York City. One implication I could see is the resources being used for this project. For instance, does New York City have nutrient rich soils that could be used on these rooftops or do they have to import soil from farther away? Additionally, how much water do these plants consume? Also, does air pollution in the city effect the plants? This is an awesome idea, but it would be interesting to see just how sustainable these rooftop farms are.


  2. peterpatrakis

    Awesome concept. Do you think this will negatively effect the importing of organic crops to NYC?


  3. pjconti

    This is pretty cool. Do you think that there will soon be a debate as to whether it’s more beneficial to have solar panels or gardens on roofs? I feel like roof space will become a valuable commodity in the future.


  4. I find this article very interesting! Why is this not more common in cities? What are the constraints? What stops it from being on every building?


  5. Makenna Golumbuk

    Very cool concepts and good concerns brought up in the comments above. I think that using rooftop gardens would be extremely beneficial, especially in places where food insecurity is present. Food insecurity usually occurs in low income neighborhoods and places where healthy options are not available. One question I have is in regard of how the harvest would be allocated based on location. In NYC so many offices reside in one building and a landlord owns that building. So as far as allocation goes, would the landlord allocate/sell the harvest or could you see these gardens being some sort of community garden where people own plots on top of rooftops and take care of their own plots? Again cool idea and a great way to include community involvement in solving our problem of food security.


  6. This is very interesting. Coming from the second biggest city in the world (Mexico City), it is interesting to see how a crowded city like NY where space is limited can achieve this. In Mexico we do not have anything close to this although we have millions of roofs and a lot of sun year round. So my question would be, why is this not achievable in every city? What are the different problems that stop this from becoming much more popular and accessible? Is there any social aspects that you need to be aware of?


  7. walkernewton

    Great idea. Do you think it could be used in denser areas like manhattan? And could weather affect how well this could be implemented in other areas of the country?


  8. kennedyroddy

    Wow, this is a really cool topic. I had no idea you could create rooftop farms on unused rooftops — especially an acre large! This is an idea that I can see blossoming into the next big trend in terms of personal farming for our future. However, I do wonder how much weight those rooftops are able to sustain… 50,000 lbs of produce from one year is an astounding amount of food so I am curious if there is any caution with roofs collapsing since they are old and unused?


  9. amyquandt

    What are some of the major reasons for why this is not more common?


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