Carrot City Designing for Urban Agriculture


Exhibit Category / Catégorie de l'expo: Housing

Location/Emplacement: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dates: 2006 - present
Designers/Concepteurs: Robert Estey (Developer), Bosa Properties
Clients: n/a

More Information/Plus d'informations:
Image Credits/Crédits d'images: Images for Freesia courtesy of Edible Vancouver. Images for Bosa courtesy of Can You Dig It Edible Vancouver

Project Description: (version française ci-dessous)

Apartment dwellers have limited access to outdoor space and particularly for food production, but many would like to have access to locally grown food. Increasingly condo and rental apartment developers are looking at roofs as valuable space for various uses including their potential as growing spaces. Creating planters on roof spaces can provide unique opportunities for the residents and create a marketing opportunity for developers.


The Freesia, a 181-unit high-rise condominium in downtown Vancouver, incorporated garden plots for residents on the seventh-floor podium rooftop. The garden area features 60 wood-frame raised beds, a tool shed, and garden lockers. Herbs, beans and other vegetables are grown here. The Freesia’s rooftop is farmed by City Farm Boy, a company that promotes urban agriculture. Using underused private gardens, to produce vegetables which are shared between garden owners. City Farm Boy sell the produce to farmers’ markets.

Initially the Freesia garden plots were offered for sale to the building’s residents at a price tag ranging from $2,500 to $3,000. Only two plots sold. Concerned that the unkempt garden would quickly become an eyesore, the building strata council asked City Farm Boy to maintain it. City Farm Boy spotted the potential for food production in this location that gets plenty of daylight and rain. They grow herbs, beans and other vegetables in the summer. City Farm Boy hope to develop a network of urban farmers in the city who will learn how to grow food in neighbourhood backyards and sell it at the local markets.


Other developers have caught on to the trend. In 2015 Bosa Properties Foundation used a rooftop garden to engage their residents and build community in their 90 unit rental building. Can You Dig It, an organisation that uses gardening to grow food and cultivate relationships and enhance local food security, was engaged and using a collaborative model of gardening they attracted over 30 residents in growing food.

The participants share in choosing plants, planting, maintenance and watering responsibilities, as well as the harvest. The garden enables residents to get to know each other through various events and shared activities. In addition the garden has been making regular donations to Quest Food Exchange.

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Scale (Carrot City Category)


Location: City

Location: Country