Up On The Roof: The Legalese of Green Roofs and Rooftop Farming

On Saturday Feb 12, I gave a talk with Zhenya Fomin of the Energy Coordinating Agency and a former green roofer, on the zoning, permitting, and engineering realities of green roofs and rooftop farms, at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park. The talk was part of the Second Saturday Gardening series, and you can check out the other great offerings here and by clicking around the Extension website here. To register for future events, call the Penn State Philadelphia Extension office at 215- 471-2200 Ext 100 or just show up. The event is $10 and the funds go back to the Philadelphia Master Gardener program.

  • Here’s a copy of the talk including a bunch of resources and links to tax incentives, how-to guides, and rooftop farms around North America.
  • Here’s a copy of Community Design Collaborative’s work for PRooF.
  • Finally, here’s a fantastic article about rooftop farming by Phil Forsyth who is active in lots of urban farming and gardening initiatives around the city. Thanks to everyone who came! There was enough interest that we very well might repeat the talk and/or split off a couple of topics to go into more depth.

Talk description
Up On The Roof: The legalese behind green roofs and rooftop farms
Green roofs and rooftop farming hold tremendous hope for improving stormwater management and food access, especially in urban areas. Two representatives from a recent Philadelphia rooftop farming initiative will talk about how to green our skylines. The focus will be on the municipal labyrinth of zoning and code enforcement, and engineering realities of old buildings. The presenters are Zhenya Fomin, a former green roofer and graduate student at Philadelphia University and Stephanie Alarcon, a Philadelphia County Master Gardener, and Master of Environmental Studies candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.

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