ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design
ItalyIndia design

51. Gardening on the roof

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Trivandrum: roof garden
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Trivandrum: roof garden
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Trivandrum: roof garden
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Trivandrum: roof garden
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Trivandrum: roof garden
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Trivandrum: roof garden
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Trivandrum: roof garden
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Trivandrum: roof garden

Every Indian city is growing in cement and infrastructure at the cost, many times, of the greenery. So it is for Trivandrum: the palms are still there, few huge trees still survive but many have disappeared. Yet new gardens are coming up…on the terrace roofs of the city. 

In 2011 the State Horticulture Mission had started speaking with people to convince them to rediscover nature in order to improve the quality of everyday life. The idea was simple: to grow vegetable gardens on the flat roofs of the city and at the same time promote integration between people of the same colony and solve the issue of organic waste.

By December 2011 eighteen thousand people had applied to have samplings and be part of the green project. But the vegetable gardens are even more, since private people got the idea and have begun to cultivate with their own means.


To be part of the green project, people shall contact the neighbors since there is a minimum number of families that have to be involved in order to get the approval of the Horticulture Mission.
All the process is managed by 5 agencies -3 governmental and 2 private. They distribute 25 soil bags to each terrace, seeds of 5 different vegetables, tools and training.
Each group selects a person who has to attend the training, he/she will share the information with all the people of his/her neighborhood.

The cultivation is organic, no chemicals are allowed. Traditional knowledge combined with innovation grants the production of almost half kilo vegetable daily, in each garden.
Organic waste of the household are collected to produce fertilizer, thus solving the difficult and stinky issue of their disposal.
A good side effect is the increment of the sales of earth pots, used for composting, and the revival of the ancient potter profession that was on the verge of extinction.



Trivandrum is not the first city to experiment with rood gardening: in 1995 Dr B N Vishwanath got the idea while he was landing in Bangalore. Why waste all that space provided by the roofs and not using it for urban agriculture?
A good idea that improves the quality of life, provides affordable food and creates solidarity among people.

Learn more:

City Farmer News

Urban agriculture

Resource centres on Urbane Agriculture



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