Berlin – Ideal for Zfarming

With its numerous allotments, estates resembling garden cities and balconies, Berlin already has a long tradition of inner-city gardening. Up to around 60 years ago, these facilities were mainly used to grow fruit and vegetables during war time or for winter. Nowadays, when food is increasingly being produced in an industrialised, globalised manner, these facilities generally serve the purpose of ornamental gardens or places of recreation. In recent years, the desire for fresh, tasty and safe produce, and the pleasure taken in planting and harvesting produce, have created a new boom in urban agriculture. For example, innovative projects for growing fruit, vegetables and herbs are emerging, some improvised, others commercial.


Map with potential roof surfaces for commercial ZFarming in Berlin online

A map is available on showing potential roof surfaces for commercial ZFarming in Berlin. The map was created on the basis of data taken from the Berlin Solar Atlas and the Environment Atlas.

In order to calculate the roof surface potential, flat roofs with an area of at least 500 square metres that would be suitable for solar utilisation were initially selected from data contained in the Berlin Solar Atlas. It was assumed that roof surfaces that were suitable for solar utilisation would also constitute potential space for ZFarming. In addition, various other criteria were defined that need to be taken into account when planning commercial rooftop farming projects: a roof inclination of no more than 8 degrees, building heights not exceeding 50 m, compatible area uses and types, and the homogeneity of the areas. No consideration was made of aspects concerning statics.

Taking these parameters into account, the following theoretical potential space for commercial ZFarming on Berlin’s roofs was yielded:

7,302 flat roofs could be exploited. This corresponds to 7.3% of all flat roofs and 2.0% of all roof surfaces in Berlin.

Of these 7,302 flat roofs, 3,122 would be suitable or highly suitable for commercial ZFarming based on the respective space layouts (i.e. homogeneity and size). This corresponds to 3.1% of all flat roofs.

In terms of area, this equates to 831 hectares of potential space for commercial ZFarming, of which 479 hectares would be suitable or highly suitable based on the respective space layouts.

In this connection, it must be noted that the area data are approximate values. This is due not only to the data applied, but also to the criteria applied which, considering the novelty of the topic, by all means require reflection. The map will be developed further in the coming weeks.

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