The people at Riverpark and GrowNYC have got together and created the most wonderful example of sustainable urban design by creating a farm right in the middle of the New York Alexandria Center. The Alexandria Center is a bioscience complex, based in the center of New York and it was previously only partly developed, meaning there was a great deal of open space available for development. Because the long-running development appeared to be going nowhere and had stalled, the developer of the Alexandria project decided to take the opportunity to begin growing fresh vegetables to supply the Tom Colicchio restaurant, the River Park, that sits next door.
Those plants have indeed been grown right in the center of the Alexandria Center development and have been grown using hundreds of old milk crates. And whilst using old milk crated necessitates more water than if they had been grown in the ground (because they are esposed on six different sides) this extra water is offset by the massively reduced transportation costs of supplying the restaurant with vegetables that are grown right next door.
There is one other advantage. Diners at the restaurant and people passing by can now sit amongst a beautiful and inspiring newly created area of lush herbs and gorgeous vegetables right in the center of the city.
Alex is a freelance writer on sustainability and development. He blogs regularly about all things green and also maintains a blog on freelancing for the Bedouin Group .