In a Victorian first, a large section of a 2000m2 rooftop car park in the heart of the Melbourne CBD has been transformed into a thriving urban farm, with works continuing over the next 12 months on this new rooftop city oasis, which when complete, will feature sustainable and contemporary hospitality sites, business conference facilities and event spaces.
Aptly named Melbourne Skyfarm, the sustainable city oasis is located in the emerging Seafarer’s precinct and directly overlooks the Yarra River to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. When fully completed in the second half of 2022, Melbourne Skyfarm will be opened and is expected to host thousands of visitors annually who undertake farm tours, enjoy workshops, visit the café or attend events. It will demonstrate how to grow fresh produce and incorporate nature into city spaces, whilst using greenery to help cool the urban environment.
Melbourne Skyfarm has been initiated by a group of leading Melbourne-based sustainability companies including urban farming company Biofilta, The Sustainable Landscape Company and nature regeneration and protection group Odonata, with the generous support of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and City of Melbourne Urban Forest Fund.
With the capacity to produce over 5 tonnes of fresh produce per annum, much of which will be donated to food charity OzHarvest, Melbourne Skyfarm is a case study of Melbourne’s contribution to a global push to create food security and climate adapted cities. Skyfarm showcases how we can overlay our city spaces with living systems that improve the ability of our cities to cool our microclimates in the face of increasing heatwaves, absorb rainwater runoff, improve downstream water quality, host beneficial biodiversity, generate fresh produce, reduce food miles to food meters, and improve nutrition, social connection and liveability.
The first chapter of Melbourne Skyfarm will celebrate and mark the completion of the urban greening and urban farming component of the farm, which has occurred with the support of a $300,000 grant by the City of Melbourne Urban Forest Fund, which represents about 10 percent of the budget of the overall project.
For more information on various ways Melbourne is striving to be a sustainable city, click here.