Philadelphia is blessed with a burgeoning urban agricultural scene, which provides residents with access to fresh, locally produced, often organic food. While most of these farms and gardens are concentrated around the city’s central and western regions, North Philadelphia contains a remarkable dearth of fresh food outlets.
SHARE Food Program is a nationwide food distribution entity that founded a local distribution center and urban farm in the Hunting Park neighborhood of North Philadelphia. The facility occupies a 180,000sf manufacturing building, and utilizes the surrounding site for at-grade food production and parking. In an effort to increase both production levels and the availability of fresh food for the surrounding community, SHARE is working with the Philadelphia based Community Design Collaborative to develop a design for a rooftop farm.
The 160,000sf rooftop will accommodate several types of production, and will also contain green roof areas (for stormwater management) and a photovoltaic array (to generate energy for the building). At this point in the design process the rooftop farm will likely facilitate row farm, raised bed, and greenhouse production, as well as bee hives, which already occupy the roof. Additional programmatic elements may include demonstration areas, composting bins, rainwater harvesting, and even an outdoor classroom.
Stay tuned for design updates, photographs of rooftop honey collection, and SHARE’s journey towards securing project funding.