A group of leading Melbourne-based sustainability companies are collaborating to transform the 2,000 square metre Siddeley Street rooftop car park, managed by Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), into a thriving farm with sustainable and contemporary dining, education and event spaces.
Melbourne Skyfarm has been initiated by Melbourne-based nature regeneration and protection group Odonata, urban farming company Biofilta and The Sustainable Landscape Company, with the support of MCEC and City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Fund.
The farm will grow over five tonnes of fresh produce per annum, with a large proportion of produce being donated to Melbourne food charities, as well as being used on the menu of the Melbourne Skyfarm cafe. Features include advanced urban rooftop farm, rooftop orchard, and beekeeping; environmental education centre and design hub; and a 90 seat licensed café with elevated terrace and event space.
MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King said Melbourne Skyfarm is a unique opportunity for MCEC to contribute to the sustainability of the Melbourne CBD and in particular, the South Wharf and Docklands precincts. “We will work closely with the Skyfarm team to explore the many exciting opportunities this new partnership can offer MCEC’s customers, visitors and employees,” Mr King said.
Melbourne Skyfarm Director, Brendan Condon said Melbourne Skyfarm will be a wonderful platform to showcase what is possible for sustainable cities embracing the future. “Skyfarm will transform a concrete carpark into an inner city rooftop oasis and thriving urban farm, where Melburnians can enjoy a meal, explore a beautiful landscape, have an engaging educational experience and find out about emerging solutions to environmental challenges,” Mr Condon said.
The project aims to construct a demonstration working farm for second half of 2019, with all elements and buildings completed by late 2020.