Rooftops in densely populated Hong Kong are fast turning greener and more fertile as urban farmers seek to grow crops from their homes and offices and create a more liveable community.
Some 60 rooftop farms and 1,400 farmers have emerged locally over the past decade, and a handful of farms are added each year, according to Mathew Pryor, an associate professor and head of the landscape architecture division at the University of Hong Kong.
Sustainable living group Rooftop Republic is one of the city’s most active farming groups.
All the city’s rooftop farming groups are formed spontaneously from the bottom up, Pryor claims. To them, rooftop farming is much more than just about producing food, Pryor says.
“It’s the social cohesion and the community interaction.”
Pryor describes the potential for urban farming as enormous. He estimates that Hong Kong has more than 600 hectares of farmable rooftop area.
Officials should recognise the positive impact of rooftop farming, Pryor contends, and clarify how to navigate regulatory issues, as many building owners are reluctant to transform their rooftops due to legal uncertainties.