melbourne_skyfarm
Photo Credit: MCEC

Melbourne's Sustainable City Oasis

In a Victorian first, a large section of a 2000m2 rooftop car park in the heart of the Melbourne CBD has been transformed into a thriving urban farm, with works continuing over the next 12 months on this new rooftop city oasis, which when complete, will feature sustainable and contemporary hospitality sites, environmental education as well as business conference facilities and event spaces.

Aptly named Melbourne Skyfarm, the sustainable city oasis is located in the emerging Seafarer’s precinct and directly overlooks the Yarra River to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. When fully completed in the second half of 2022, Melbourne Skyfarm will be opened to the general public and will be a mecca for visitors as they tour the working farm, visit and sample from the rooftop orchard and herb gardens, dine at the sustainable cafe, enjoy a drink or coffee overlooking Melbourne’s skyline and Yarra River, hire one of the three unique event spaces on offer, purchase plants from the rooftop nursery, as well as attend classes in the environmental education area.

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Photo Credit: MCEC

The first chapter of Melbourne Skyfarm will celebrate and mark the completion of the urban greening and urban farming component of the farm, which has occurred with the support of a $300,000 grant by the City of Melbourne Urban Forest Fund, which represents about 10 per cent of the budget of the overall project.

melbourne_skyfarm
Photo Credit: MCEC

Melbourne Skyfarm has been initiated by a group of leading Melbourne-based sustainability companies including urban farming company Biofilta, The Sustainable Landscape Company and natural regeneration and protection group Odonata, with the generous support of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and City of Melbourne Urban Forest Fund.

The site is expected to host thousands of school students annually, visiting to participate in immersive education experiences on sustainable living, regenerative practices and protection and restoration of nature. Thousands more visitors are expected to undertake farm tours, enjoy workshops, visit the café or attend events. The site will demonstrate how to grow fresh produce and incorporate nature into city spaces, whilst using greenery to help cool the urban environment.

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Photo Credit: MCEC

Melbourne’s contribution to a global push to create food security and climate-adapted cities

With the capacity to produce over 5 tonnes of fresh produce per annum, much of which will be donated to food charity OzHarvest, Melbourne Skyfarm is a case study of Melbourne’s contribution to a global push to create food security and climate-adapted cities. Skyfarm showcases how we can overlay our city spaces with living systems that improve the ability of our cities to cool our microclimates in the face of increasing heatwaves, absorb rainwater runoff, improve downstream water quality, host beneficial biodiversity, generate fresh produce, reduce food miles to food meters, and improve nutrition, social connection and liveability.

Peter King

MCEC Chief Executive

Quotes attributable to MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King said: “Skyfarm is a wonderful opportunity for MCEC to lead the way for businesses to take charge of their responsibility to the environment.”

“We are thrilled to be involved in such an innovative project which will benefit not only MCEC’s customers, visitors and employees but the Melbourne CBD as a whole, especially the South Wharf and Docklands precincts.”

“We acknowledge the obligation we have to reduce our demand on the planet’s finite resources and through the opening of Skyfarm, we are sending a message that we can and will do more for our community and the environment. Skyfarm has seen the transformation of a concrete carpark into a venue Melbournians can gather to learn, socialise and enjoy a completely different space to what they are used to, it’s a place to inspire awareness of the environment we are surrounded by.”

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Photo Credit: MCEC

Further information is available at https://mcec.com.au/