Rooftop farms are in the midst of a boom here in New York City: plans for a 100,000-square-foot rooftop greenhouse in Sunset Park, Brooklyn are moving ahead, where a hydroponic greenhouse will use rainwater to grow crops atop 2 Federal Plaza, which is a former Navy warehouse. When announced in March, the project was touted as the largest rooftop farm in the United States. But the Bronx rooftop could accommodate a farm twice as large. And Brooklyn Grange continues to pursue its expansion into Brooklyn from the historic Standard Motors Building in Long Island City.
Driving that boom – at least in part – is New York City’s Zone Green. Proposed amendments to Gotham’s zoning code that continue an inexorable march through the approval process, Zone Green would permit solar panels, green roofs, storm water systems, skylights and other green features on New York City buildings, despite existing restrictions within the 1961 code. Specifically with respect to rooftop farms, Zone Green would allow a waiver of floor area and height limits for greenhouses on top of non-residential buildings.
Via Jandira Feijó