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Category — China

China: Shanghai’s Edible Rooftops


Sky Farm in Shanghai uses rooftop agriculture to help urban residents experience nature up close. By Daniel Holmes and Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone.

With approximately 10 billion square meters of exposed roof space across Chinese cities as of September 2011, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the concept has plenty of capacity to grow.

By Liang Chenyu
The Sixth Tone
Oct 24, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Atop Red Star Macalline Group’s headquarters sits a rooftop farm called Yiyun, which translates as “leaning on the clouds.” Chilies, white gourd, eggplant, chives, and other vegetables flourish across the 4,600-square-meter garden cultivated by the company, which is China’s largest national furniture retailer. The harvested produce is used in the staff cafeteria, and the farm also provides thermal insulation for the building’s top floor, which houses expensive rosewood furniture.

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October 24, 2017   Comments Off on China: Shanghai’s Edible Rooftops

China: Shanghai’s first urban farm at an open community

Residents at Anshan No.4 Village place green plants in the community farm Baicaoyuan Garden. — Mao Xinhui

Children see the constant change of the fruits and vegetables everyday which is not available elsewhere,” Liu added.

By Huang Jianjian and Li Xinran
Shanghai Daily
June 13, 2017

Excerpt:

A small piece of farmland hiding on a rooftop, at a residential quarter or surrounded by tall buildings, is not only for urbanites to retain their nostalgia but also an organic way to open and comfort people’s minds.

It varies from time to time whether rice paddy, vegetables, fragrant herbs are the best choice to be planted in the soil of downtown. A mini farm featuring a pond, blue iris and a variety of aquatic plants was displayed in Yangpu, during a recent urban farm exhibition. A small herbal garden with chamomile, mint and basil was also exhibited during the event at the Knowledge & Innovation Community Garden.

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June 17, 2017   Comments Off on China: Shanghai’s first urban farm at an open community

‘Plant Factories’ Churn Out Clean Food in China’s Dirty Cities

A researcher transplants rice seedlings in a greenhouse of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Researchers build urban farms, crop labs to combat contamination

Reporting by Christina Larson and Lulu Yilun Chen, assisted by Vicky Feng
Bloomberg News
May 25, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Yang Qichang walks through his “plant factory” atop the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, inspecting trays of tomato vines that may help farmers slip the stranglehold that toxins have on China’s food supply.

The containers are stacked like bunk beds, with each vine wrapped in red and blue LED lights that evoke tiny Christmas trees. Yang is testing which parts of the visible-light spectrum are optimal for photosynthesis and plant growth while using minimal energy.

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June 3, 2017   Comments Off on ‘Plant Factories’ Churn Out Clean Food in China’s Dirty Cities

Sasaki Unveils Design for Sunqiao, a 100-Hectare Urban Farming District in Shanghai

An aquaponics showcase, and festival market signal an attempt to educate generations of children about where their food comes from.

By Niall Patrick Walsh
Arch Daily
Apr 2, 2017

Excerpt:

With nearly 24 million inhabitants to feed and a decline in the availability and quality of agricultural land, the Chinese megacity of Shanghai is set to realize the Sunqiao Urban Agricultural District, a 100-hectare masterplan designed by US-based firm Sasaki Associates. Situated between Shanghai’s main international airport and the city center, Sunqiao will introduce large-scale vertical farming to the city of soaring skyscrapers. While primarily responding to the growing agricultural demand in the region, Sasaki’s vision goes further, using urban farming as a dynamic living laboratory for innovation, interaction, and education.

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April 9, 2017   Comments Off on Sasaki Unveils Design for Sunqiao, a 100-Hectare Urban Farming District in Shanghai

Rooftop hydroponic systems in cities produce vegetables that are cheaper and healthier than rural farms


Putting roots down on rooftops. (Reuters/Vincent Kessler)

After calculating the cost of building the screenhouse and tanks, rent, labor, utilities, seeds, fertilizer, and other equipment, the team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences South China Botanical Garden and the Zhong Kai University of Agriculture and Engineering found that six out of the seven vegetables were cheaper to produce than to purchase at a local store.

By Kelsey Lindsey
Quartz
Dec 14

Excerpt:

On a 1,600-square-foot-rooftop in Guangzhou, China, 14 hydroponic tanks produce hundreds of pounds of vegetables a year, with a potential profit of over $6,000 annually—almost twice the 2015 annual minimum wage in the city, which has one of the highest monthly minimum wages in the country. The hydroponic tanks are part of study that shows residents and developers in Guangzhou that their rooftop space might be worth some green.

A paper published this past July the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development reports that growing leafy greens in rooftop hydroponic systems can not only produce a steady supply of vegetables—it can also be cheaper than buying store-bought alternatives.

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December 15, 2016   Comments Off on Rooftop hydroponic systems in cities produce vegetables that are cheaper and healthier than rural farms

China’s Chengdu farm capitalises on taking rich families back to their roots

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Rick pickings: Sunshine Organic Farm

For the founders of the Sunshine Organic Farm, a working farm and weekend retreat on the city’s south-western outskirts, Chengdu residents’ frustration with urban life presents an opportunity.

By Christian Shepherd
FT.com
Aug. 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Chengdu’s lifestyle is often sold as a relaxed contrast to the crush of China’s east-coast metropolises. Residents like to take it easy. Sleepy tea-houses line the twin rivers that snake through the city and the clack of mah-jong game tiles echoes in back alleys till the early morning.

But as the south-western city grows, the gentle pace of life is under pressure. Once-quiet streets are clogged with traffic. Chengdu is now the most congested city in China and the ninth most congested in the world, according to a recent report by satnav company TomTom. Its once vaunted clean air is also under threat, with the city doing only slightly better than smoggy Beijing in a 2014 air quality ranking of Chinese cities by Greenpeace.

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August 25, 2016   Comments Off on China’s Chengdu farm capitalises on taking rich families back to their roots

Rooftop farming arrives in Chengdu, China

(Must see. Mike)

“The farm is actually a by-product of the shopping mall here. With proper design and investment, we transformed this rooftop into something useful and provided the public with a free place to learn the science of planting and experience agricultural production,” said rooftop farmer Liu Bo.

China.org
July 21, 2016

Excerpt:

“It surprised me when I stepped onto this rooftop. They have all kinds of vegetables and fruit. And there are species that I don’t know. It’s rare to see such things in big cities,” said Chengdu resident Tang Yan.

Mr. Liu is one of the founders of this city farm. For the past eight years, he has been running a vast rural farm in the suburbs of the city.

“Young people know very little about agricultural production, especially children. They have no idea about the exact procedures of how to plant vegetables and rice. So I came up with the idea of passing on Chinese agricultural traditions to the younger generation, and those living in cities,” said rooftop farmer Liu Bo.

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July 21, 2016   Comments Off on Rooftop farming arrives in Chengdu, China

China Proposes A Fix For Its Crashing Housing Market: “Transplant” 100 Million Farmers Into Its Cities

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Starting next year, China will roll out policy to transform 100 million farmers into registered urban residents

By Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
Dec 24, 2015

Excerpt:

Beijing is hoping to “transplant” 100 million farmers into registered urban residents, who no longer being migrant workers, will rush to buy real estate in the process soaking up some of the millions of vacant square meters of excess capacity real estate. At least that’s how the thinking goes: “attendees of the meeting agreed that rural residents that move to urban areas should be allowed to register as residents, which would encourage them to buy homes in the city. Property developers have been advised to reduce home prices, according to the statement.”

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December 29, 2015   Comments Off on China Proposes A Fix For Its Crashing Housing Market: “Transplant” 100 Million Farmers Into Its Cities

Rusted-out Shenzhen factory reborn as a thriving urban farm

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Eye-pleasing plots of vegetables growing on the reclaimed site. Photo by Thomas Chung.Click on image for larger file.

Architect Thomas Chung’s award-winning green growing space in Shenzhen was inspired by Hong Kong’s Central district rooftops

By Peta Tomlinson
South China Morning Post
Oct 13, 2015

Excerpt:

The project’s design inspiration came partly from an emerging global trend whereby city dwellers are reconnecting with the hands-on experience of growing crops as a means of offering a more secure, accessible food supply.

“Besides pointing to an attitude and lifestyle change, it’s about experimenting with what can be done with hitherto untapped land resources, such as on rooftops, terraces and balconies, inside parks and under flyovers,” Chung said.

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October 22, 2015   Comments Off on Rusted-out Shenzhen factory reborn as a thriving urban farm

Workers in idle Chinese industrial city turn back to farming

“Just two old men. It’s boring, nothing to do,” Ma says. “So we just started farming while watching this place.”

CNN
Aug 31, 2015

Excerpt:

TENGZHOU, CHINA (CNN) – The empty buildings are China’s version of Roman ruins. Relics of rapid economic growth, left crumbling by a changing economy.

Tengzhou is considered a small industrial city by Chinese standards. In all, 1.5 million people and a GDP bigger than Jamaica.

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September 9, 2015   Comments Off on Workers in idle Chinese industrial city turn back to farming

China: They left city jobs to farm roaches in their home village

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Mr Wu Songqing with the mulberry branches he uses to grow mu’er. The finance graduate moved back to his village of Guanhe in Anhui province to grow the edible black fungus because he wanted to make a difference. Photo: The Straits Times

Mr Wu’s entrepreneurial story began in 2013 when he realised – on a visit home – that villagers who were breeding silkworms in mulberry trees were discarding their branches. But these were ideal for growing high-quality mu’er.

By Esther Teo
The Straits Times
Aug 23, 2015

Excerpt:

It’s the stuff of nightmares. A single light bulb hangs by a wire from the ceiling of a damp, dimly lit room with hundreds of thousands of cockroaches scurrying about.

Some 400,000, to be exact. They dart between cardboard and egg cartons strung together to provide the dark hiding places they prefer.

It might be creepy to most people, but these six-legged critters being bred for their medicinal properties are rich pickings for 24-year-old Mr Qian Cheng.

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August 31, 2015   Comments Off on China: They left city jobs to farm roaches in their home village

Sanyuanli Community Gardens in Beijing

beij

Organizers will speak about their accomplishments at August 15th event

By The Sanyuanli Community Garden Team
August 2015

The project aims to start an urban farming movement in Beijing and China by setting up a pilot garden and training a gardening community.

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August 9, 2015   Comments Off on Sanyuanli Community Gardens in Beijing

Tourism-focused farms give Chinese city dwellers a break from urban life

chinatA woman tends to a vegetable garden at one of the parks. Image: How Hwee Young/Epa

In areas around big cities like Beijing, farms are also offering leisure and tourism activities.

By Lili Sams
Mashable
August 1, 2015

Excerpt:

In 2014, Chinese farms had more than 1.2 billion visitors, according to the China Tourism Association. That’s up from more than 900 million visitors in 2013, which generated $4.7 billion in revenue. To put the popularity of farm tourism in perspective, that accounts for about a third of all holidays in the country.

Farms offer residents of China’s biggest metropolises a refreshing break from urban life, while giving rural populations the chance to earn a decent living.

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August 9, 2015   Comments Off on Tourism-focused farms give Chinese city dwellers a break from urban life

Former factory in China repurposed as massive urban agriculture facility

chinafcaClick on image for larger file.

The project intersects issues of urban transformation, architecture and urban agriculture with an international cultural event, and explores the possibilities of urban farming in the city and how it can be integrated in urban planning.

By Mihai Andrei
ZME Science
Aug 3, 2015
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Value Farm is a collective effort farming effort developed by Thomas Chung, together with Tris Kee and Chi Fai Fung; together, they transformed an open area within Ole Bouman’s Value Factory from an abandoned industrial facility into a green, vibrant and useful project. Projects like this one could go a long way to greening highly urbanized areas, involving people to engage in collaborative, healthy and relaxing work, and encouraging them to eat local food.

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August 4, 2015   Comments Off on Former factory in China repurposed as massive urban agriculture facility

China: Villages changed into cities liberating women from farm drudgery

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She spent her childhood working in the fields, feeding the family’s pigs. The destruction of rural China became for Xiao Zhang a liberation – and an opportunity. This is the story of how her life changed as much as her country.

By Carrie Gracie
BBC News
June 22, 2015
(Must See. Mike)

Excerpts:

She’d started helping with the farm work almost as soon as she could walk and when she was 11, she dropped out of school.

“Every family was poor but we were poorer,” she says.

“My mother was often ill. As the eldest I always had to help out, feeding the pigs, working in the fields, looking after the little ones.

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July 1, 2015   Comments Off on China: Villages changed into cities liberating women from farm drudgery