Urban farming in Beijing

Roof garden of Beijing Jinglun Hotel in CBD

Roof garden of Beijing Jinglun Hotel in CBD

Urban farming in Beijing? Considering the pollution and the limited space in the city, this sounds not only surrealistic but also questionable from health / food safety point of view, but there is a reality: urban farming is a growing trend in Beijing! 

Some would see urban gardens as a response to the growing urbanization of China: “China is reinventing the “garden city” concept in order to create space for both its urban and its displaced rural citizens“. If we can’t imagine at this stage to feed the entire Beijing population with urban farms settled on roof tops, this is at least a way to explore new ways of food production.

 

Benefits of urban farming

watermelons-on-rroftop-in-chinaSo, yes, urban farming is a reality in Beijing and it has many benefits:
– it is a possible job for displaced farmers,
– it reduces food miles, providing access to fresher agricultural products at lower costs and decreasing carbon emissions,
environment-friendly constructions: buildings with gardens (ornamental gardens or farms) will not require so intensive use of air conditioning during summer as they absorb 70 to 85% of solar heat and some plant species can have insects repellent properties,
– it is a way for residents to have a common interest and get to know each other (socialization),
– it is a way to offer citizen options for “agrotourism” and it can be used for educational purposes. Some international and local schools are running a garden as an educational tool for their pupils. 

 

Community garden in Beijing

http://www.cityfarmer.info/2015/08/09/sanyuanli-community-gardens-in-beijing/#more-308333

Started in 2015, initiated by a group of French people members of the JCEF and RISE, a Student environmental association working to research and develop urban farming in Beijing, the Beijing Sanyuanli community garden is a pilot project who aims at helping residents to build a sustainable urban garden in the heart of Beijing. You can contact the project team if you are interested to open such project in your residential compound!

 

Beijing roof gardens

Beijing counts about 100 million square meters of roof surface available for green roofs. Plume Labs suggests that converting all this available surface in green roofs would help to reduce the by PM 2.5 by 880 000 kg per year, which would have the same effect as removing 730,000 cars from the roads of the city.

Garden School in Beijing

Garden School in Beijing

If the roofs of Beijing are not all green, you have more roof gardens than you think in Beijing! For example, did you know that the whole Chang’An Avenue counts no less than 19 roof gardens, covering a total surface of ​​123,840 square meters?  
Beijing city is allocating subsidies for roof gardens (100 to 150 yuan / sqm in 2012, to be compared to the cost of installation: 300 to 600 yuan / sqm + maintenance costs per year).

Beijing No.4 High School Fangshan Campus had no less than 36 plots for the 36-classes of students in the school, providing students the chance to learn the techniques of farming! Students are cultivating themselves the vegetables they will eat at the canteen. 

 

Build your own garden in your home in Beijing

 

If you are considering building your own garden in your home in Beijing, you can find all what you need, including seeds, cultivation pots, fertilizers,…

  • Laitai Flower Market (莱太花卉市场), located at the south of Sanyuanqio / north of Solana shopping center (Maizidian Xilu 9, Chaoyang district, 麦子店西路9号)
     
  • on Line (JD, Taobao…)

Another option is to rent a small piece of land at a farm place or to let people cultivate for you and enjoy picking fresh vegetables with the family at one of the organic farms in Beijing surroundings

 

Sources:

http://english.cri.cn/7146/2014/03/17/2702s817813.htm

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/5854-Urban-farming-how-far-can-we-go-in-feeding-cities

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/5625-Beijing-needs-a-green-roof-revolution-

http://beijinghaochi.com/farming-container-gardens-hutongs

http://www.bjd.com.cn/10zt/201207/16/t20120716_2560130.html

 

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About Marketing

I am living in China since 2009 and in Beijing since 2011. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!