Right now it’s just an idea.
But two urban farming experts have shared a jaw-dropping concept for how a dilapidated multi-story car park in Cork City could be transformed into a thriving urban farm designed to supply local residents and businesses with fresh, chemical-free food.
Brian McCarthy, who runs Cork Rooftop Farm, a 6,800 sq ft rooftop garden on the Coal Quay, has joined forces with Chris Jones, an urban agriculture consultant, to create an ambitious plan for a second site in the city.
The conceptual design for the project, titled FutureCityFoodHub, includes various elements of zero-waste grocery retail, kitchen/production facilities and compost production.
Zero-waste packaging and distribution possibilities and various systems for local food growing would create a mini-production hub for highly perishable and high-value fresh ingredients such as herbs and salads.
“This is purely a concept and we have not engaged with any city authorities or car park owners at this point but we would have an ideal candidate site in mind and we used the parameters of this site for the study,” Brian told Yay Cork.
“The site that we would see as being ideal is in drastic need of rejuvenation. The area in question is crying out for a bit of imagination, bravery and ambition on the part of local politicians and planners. The outdoor dining success in Cork city shows what can be done when businesses and the city council really work together towards a common objective and I feel that sustainability and green policies need to now be brought front and centre.”
Car parks tend to be extremely robust and heavy load bearing buildings with excellent access. This makes them a perfect structure for conversion to an urban farm.
“Multi-story car parks, although they serve an important role in supporting city centre commerce, are facilitating a model of enterprise which we need to rely less on,” said Brian.
“A robust public transport infrastructure system should be the primary mechanism in attracting consumers to our city centres. The impact of transforming a previously grey and unappealing concrete building into a vibrant productive landscape can be profound.”
To find out more about the concept, check out @corkrooftopfarm on Instagram.