Memo 1 – Research Topic: Urban Farming

To: Professor MacBride

From: Jessica Lin

Date: February 13, 2013

Re: Urban Farming in NYC

I plan to explore rooftop farming in New York City. Since New York City is an urban setting full of buildings and skyscrapers, there are many buildings capable of supporting rooftop farms. Rooftop agriculture is a self-sustaining method to provide food locally to its residents. It maximizes our resources and space without invading the city life. Benefits to local produce include fresher and nutritious food for you. But also, urban farming can help to cool and control temperatures, and help to reduce water run off during storms. It helps to cool down buildings, which in turn reduces energy consumption.

I would like to explore the methods of urban agriculture, find information on the rooftop farms that already exist in areas like the Bronx and Brooklyn, and see what future plans exist. If rooftop farming is implemented throughout the entire city, what benefits and results will it have, statistically, on the amount of people it can feed, the estimated overall temperature reduction, and money saved from energy consumption. I think a good source of information would be to visit the sites that already exist, such as Brooklyn Grange or Bright Farms. I may have some trouble trying to collect statistics since urban agriculture is still a fairly recent development.

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1 Response to Memo 1 – Research Topic: Urban Farming

  1. Samantha MacBride says:


    Nice choice of topic! You are definitely on the right track concentrating on the cooling and insulation aspects of rooftop farms, in addition to their utility providing local food. As you proceed, consider the following:

    1. choose one rooftop farm as your case study – try to find the biggest, most advanced example.
    2. keep tying what you find to the question of climate change adaptation and mitigation; this will be via the mechanism of building energy efficiency (or HVAC efficiency) as well as combatting the urban heat island effect and diminishing water runoff.

    Let me know if you have questions as you go along!

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