What Urban Rooftop Gardening Could Do For The Middle East
With so many flat roofs across the Middle East, surely the region is ripe for a bit of rooftop gardening?
By Arwa Aburawa
December 15th, 2010
Neveen Metwally, a researcher at the Central Laboratory for Agriculture Climate in Cairo, Egypt spoke to IRIN about urban gardening in the region. She explained that city dwellers must be convinced of the benefits of urban horticulture by focusing on the needs of ordinary people and the benefits that urban agriculture brings to them. “I can say to someone, ‘A rooftop garden will help the environment’, and they’ll say, ‘No, thank you – I just want to feed my family’. So I must identify and communicate benefits that are of interest to that person.”
Metwallly added that in Egypt the numerous benefits of rooftop gardens include decreasing air pollution which has been a huge concerns for many living in the highly polluted city. Cairo along with other Middle Eastern cities such as Tehran, are known for their dangerously high air pollution. In fact, it was recently reported that 27 people die every day in Tehran due to air pollution-related disease and the Egyptian capital’s air pollution is aggravated by the annual rice burning season which turns the city dark with black smoke.