Institute for Resource Management
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Urban Farming of the Future: ZFarm. Innovation and Technology Analysis Zero Acreage Farming

Urban Farming of the Future: ZFarm – Crops with zero acreage

Project Logo ZFarm - Zero Acreage Farming

New innovations in urban farming are currently becoming a trend worldwide – and also in Germany. In the context of the BMBF-Project "ZFarm. Innovation- and Technology Analysis Zero Acreage Farming" which started on January 1st, 2011,  inter 3 is analysing opportunities for the inner-city cultivation of fruits and vegetables by using existing buildings. Using the example of Berlin, the potential, obstacles as well as the necessary framework conditions for the realization and dissemination of house-integrated agriculture are identified.

Aim: Feasible cultivation techniques for the future city

Cultivation techniques that are adapted to inner-city structures are at the center of ZFarm. Among these are for example roof-top green houses, hanging gardens or in-house plantations. Until now, there are mainly architectural visions, while realistic solutions ready for implementation are rather rare. This is where the the Zero Acreage Farming-Project begins: Together with the project partners Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) as well as the Institute for Urban and Regional Planning of the TU Berlin inter 3 is developing technically, economically and ecologically feasible cultivation techniques and analyses the necessary planning-, urbanistic, legal, economic and social framework conditions.

Output: Strategies for realization and operation of sustainable food production systems

The  resource intensive spatial separation of food production and consumption that currently prevails in western economies is little sustainable under consideration of climatic, ecological and social aspects. New urban forms of agricultural production can instead function with locally available resources. Moreover, the growth of plants on, at or inside buildings allows for more quality of life: It improves the microclimate of cities and the buildings themselves and creates new spaces for recreation and social inclusion. For example, the joint production of food can also fulfill an educational and socially integrative function. In the context of ZFarm, different commercial as well as non-commercial operating models will be developed, serving as different approaches to realizing the architectural and technological innovations of urban farming.

Project name:
ZFarm. Innovation- and Technology-Analysis Zero Acreage Farming


Dr. Susanne Schön
Tel.: +49(0)30 34 34 74 52
Axel Dierich
Tel.: +49(0)30 34 34 74 49

Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)

Technische Universität Berlin, Institute for Urban and Regional Planning, Department of Urban and Regional Economics as well as Leibniz-Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V.

Location: Berlin

Duration: 2011 - 2013