Gardening with a view

12. April 2019


JOANNEUM RESEARCH LIFE developed the project "Smart City Rooftop Farming" on the roof of the Science Tower Graz for the sustainable use of roof gardens. Roofs in the city of the future have three important additional functions: cooling the city, producing food and electricity. The Science Tower is the first building in Austria where a symbiosis of these three functions is shown and explored. In high-quality substrate crops are grown for food production for the restaurants in the vicinity. Evaporative cooling optimizes the microclimate and dye-sensitized solar cells and mobile solar panels generate electricity.


Roof gardens cool the city while reducing emissions


Together with partners from business, science and the education sector, an “Urban Farming Project” has been developed on the roof of the Science Tower Graz since autumn 2018. The Smart City Rooftop Farming opened today, April 11, in the presence of Provincial Councilor Johann Seitinger, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Managing Director Wolfgang Pribyl, LIFE Institute Director Franz Prettenthaler, Caritas Styria Director Herbert Beiglböck, Isabella Hollerer, Head of Sustainable Development at bellaflora , Gerald Dunst, Managing Director of Sonnenerde and SFL Managing Director Hans Höllwart, owner of the Science Tower.

The use of urban roof areas is increasing worldwide, as in Graz. Since last autumn, 19 plant troughs have been cultivated on the roof of the Science Tower. The reason for this is that land resources are becoming ever scarcer and the use of roof areas becomes all the more important. In high-quality substrate crops for food production are grown to explore which components are required for sustainable, professionalized food production on rooftops.



Franz Prettenthaler
LIFE – JOANNEUM RESEARCH Centre for Climate, Energy and Society
+43 316 876 7601

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