Never underestimate the creativity and resourcefulness of people. Apparently, more than half the world's population now lives in cities. This population shift, coupled with concerns about food security, transportation costs, health, and even "heat mitigation," is feeding a boom in urban garden design advances, and a slew of them have crossed my desk recently.
First, there's Mayor Daly and his commitment to make Chicago the green roof capitol of the United States. Then, there's Eli Zabar and his rooftop greenhouses providing fresh produce for his famous New York City store, Zabar's. Right here in Atlanta, there's City Hall and Sustainable Design standards for municipal financed construction projects. And finally, there's the ultra-cool Science Barge, a sustainable urban farm created by New York SunWorks, an environmental nonprofit organization. Powered by solar, wind, biofuels, rainwater and purified river water, the Science Barge tours New York City's public waterfront parks (the photo above is from its website). Its purpose? Education. And, clearly, inspiration for those of us who think we've thought of it all. Because we haven't. Because even as I write this, people out there have great ideas that they think can't be done but yet it nags at them. Because somehow, somewhere, anything's possible.
The National Gardening Association just started a new e-newsletter, Moss in the City, that targets urban farmers. In addition to articles about heat, watering, and planning for the fall garden, the enewsletter recommends visiting conservatories and botanical greenhouses to get urban gardening ideas.
Let's face it, this urban gardening stuff is big. And getting bigger.