Roof field, Rotterdam © Amar Sjauw En Wa

Roof fields, Schieblok Rotterdam

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On top of a large office building, Schieblock, near Rotterdam’s central station, the first large harvestable roof in the Netherlands has been created: the Dakakker, or roof field. Vegetables, fruit and herbs are grown here and honey bees are kept. On the Dakakker they work with soil directly on the roof. The Dakakker serves as a test location to experiment with various methods of green roofs. The Dakakker was planted in April 2012 by Binder Groenprojecten based on an idea and design from design firm ZUS [Zones Urbaines Sensibles] and developed in collaboration with the Rotterdam Centre for the Environment. The Dakakker is one of the sub-projects of the urban initiative De Luchtsingel. The roof field is 1000 m2 in size. Management of the Dakakker and educational activities are organised by the Rotterdam Centre for the Environment. Every Friday is a workday on the roof.

Roof fields, Rotterdam © Amar Sjauw En Wa

Since the start of the project, experience has shown which crops grow well 20 meters above the ground in the centre of Rotterdam. Growing conditions are similar to a Mediterranean climate: very dry and windy. For this reason many herbs (mint, lemon verbena, lavender), tubers (Jerusalem artichoke, red beets, carrots, radishes), alliaceous vegetables (onion, leeks, garlic) and strong plants such as courgette, rhubarb and pumpkin are cultivated.

To generate extra income, tours are offered and the Dakakker can be rented for events.