Research project ROOF FOOD: incubator for rooftop farming

Complete Acronym: ROOF FOOD
Rows of plants growing on a rooftop; a woman explains to a group

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Bart Vandecasteele

Expert in sustainable growing media


Main research question

This project is about rooftop agriculture. The Ghent company ROOF FOOD has the ambition to share its own concept and experience of professional vegetable growing on flat roofs. ILVO is partner in this project, which aims to develop a blueprint for promoters who want to get started with the concept. The risks and questions that emerge from newcomers are: 1) A realistic estimation of the price and the possible added value creation of rooftop vegetable gardens; and 2) lack of specific guidance.

Research approach

In cooperation with the partners, Roof Food itself is being developed as an inspiring example case. The focus is on the circularity of the roof gardening project. We test the collaborative model in practice for an external client. This creates a second example case. The lessons learned from these two cases, together with the broad experience of the project partners, form the basis to remove the uncertainty of potential promoters. The project keeps an open character: Other relevant experts can get involved during the course of the project.


The project partners assume that good example cases and a central point of contact are crucial catalysts for growth in the number of rooftop gardening projects. We expect that the use of circularity and increasing productivity in rooftop gardening will stimulate people to get started with it.