In Melbourne’s CBD, a public rooftop car park has been converted into an urban farm. Skyfarm, once a 2000 square metre rooftop parking garage, is projected to be under construction for another 12 months. It will include sustainable and contemporary hotel locations, environmental education, business conference facilities, and event spaces when it is finished. Moreover, it will be able to generate over five tonnes of fresh produce every year, with much of it going to the food bank OzHarvest.
Melbourne Skyfarm is the brainchild of a consortium of top Melbourne-based sustainability firms, including Biofilta, The Sustainable Landscape Company, and Odonata, which specialises in natural regeneration and conservation. The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the City of Melbourne Urban Forest Fund have backed them up. Visitors will be able to tour the working farm, visit the orchard, sample rooftop honey, dine at the sustainable café, have a drink on the deck, hire unique event spaces, attend classes at the environmental education centre or enjoy the children’s playground. The venue is planning to open in late 2020.
Thousands of school children are scheduled to visit the site each year to partake in immersive education activities on sustainable living and environmental conservation. Thousands more people are anticipated to join farm tours, workshops, the café, and other events. The site will show how to cultivate fresh vegetables and integrate nature into urban spaces, as well as how to use greenery to avoid overheating the city.
- Melbourne Skyfarm will feature an innovative, water-efficient, pop-up farming system designed and manufactured in Melbourne by urban farming company Biofilta. The Biofilta urban farming system has been judged as internationally innovative, and is low maintenance, soil based, self-watering, ergonomic and can be rapidly assembled within days. The farm will grow over five tonnes of fresh produce per annum, with a large proportion of produce being donated to Melbourne food charities as well as being used on the menu of the Melbourne Skyfarm café. The farm will also incorporate a rooftop orchard and working bee hives.
- Melbourne SkyFarm will feature high-tech classrooms and a design hub, providing an exciting a platform for educating primary, secondary and tertiary students, community groups, businesses and future leaders about our natural world, the challenges it is facing and the rapidly growing field of sustainable solutions to these challenges.
- Melbourne Skyfarm will feature a 90 seat licensed café and elevated terrace and, drawing on discussions with and inspiration from the iconic Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm in New York. Skyfarm will feature a unique range of public and hireable spaces for events, exhibitions, meetings, conferences and celebrations. The hospitality venues of Melbourne Skyfarm will champion the best practices in food production from around Australia including sustainable and regenerative farming, ethical food production, low-waste hospitality techniques, and native ingredient use. Melbourne Skyfarm will also champion sustainable, local food and wine from the Greater Melbourne and Victorian regions.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)