Social assessment of rooftop farming projects

S. Toboso-Chavero, J. V. Lioba Gansen, F. Francardo, V. Arcas-Pilz, G. Villalba, X. Gabarrell Durany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Cities are growing rapidly, are responsible for large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and have high food, water and energy demands. However, citizens are mostly reliant on imports from rural areas for their food supply. While this requires many resources for transportation and packaging, it also disconnects people from food production. Rooftop farming is an attempt to counteract these challenges, and by utilising unproductive rooftop space to produce food in an urban environment. These strategies are implemented in the centre of human’s habitat, and consequently have social interactions and impacts. Nevertheless, as these approaches are emerging strongly, the social impact and perception of these running projects are still scarce. This research is therefore aiming to assess the social impacts of rooftop farming projects based on cases studies. Through stakeholder analysis and interviews with project partners, key stakeholders (consumers, customers, visitors, neighbours, workers) and potential social impacts (health and safety, diet, awareness, acceptance, sense of community, working conditions) were identified. Based on this, a multifactorial survey was designed that can be altered according to the requirements of the project business model, involved stakeholders and project stage. This shall demonstrate a suggestion for social assessments of rooftop farming projects and support a better understanding of the barriers and opportunities of them, which will facilitate the prevention of emerging issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-155
Number of pages29
JournalActa Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • citizen science
  • ecosystem services
  • social perception
  • stakeholder analysis
  • urban agriculture
  • urban food system


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