China: Rooftop vegetable garden takes root

Above the concrete jungle, rooftop gardens are emerging in Jing’an District, offering an escape from busy routines and a new way to use space in the densely-populated metropolis of Shanghai.

The Kerry Everbright City, a mixed-use complex near the Shanghai Railway Station, has turned three of its rooftops into vegetable gardens, covering almost 300 square meters.

Nearly 40 vegetables are planted there, including radishes, cucumber, lettuce and pumpkin.

Environmentally-friendly gardening techniques are also used. Rainwater is stored to irrigate plants and coffee grounds collected from the complex’s cafes are used as mulch.

Employees from the property’s management company and sanitation workers from the local Beizhan Subdistrict have also joined hands to make the gardens possible.

It’s a cooperation that offers office workers access to the natural world while sanitation workers, mostly migrants from rural areas, can put their agricultural skills to good use. Gardening experts are also invited to teach the group.

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