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Thinking Beyond the Rooftop Pool

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, August 05, 2008, at 03:19AM
Index Ed Fuentes

The Habeas Index will host urban garden farmers Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne this Thursday, from 12:30 to 1:30pm, to discuss their new book "The Urban Homestead" and the conversion of their 1920's hilltop bungalow into a mini-farm.

The subject may not seem to be Downtown-centric at first glance, but when you consider how developers invest in rooftop pool chic to attract urban dwellers, one wonders if an alternative for roof conversion is the creation of functional community garden farms for tenants.

The calls for urban green space and pocket parks, voiced requests for healthier food options, and the popularity of Farmers' Markets, may be a sign the health-conscious and green-friendly demographic of Downtown dwellers are ready to become harvesting hipsters.

The idea of rooftop urban farms and garden is not new; cities around the world have examples of extravagant farms high in the sky. In Central City East, Skid Row is the center of a pilot program for the Urban Farming Food Chain, a gardening system that uses portable wall panels to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Vista Hermosa Park’s ranger stations are using a "GreenGrid" green roof system and are showing how viable rooftop green space can be brought into the city.

Rooftop farms may not not come up during this weeks Habeas Index lunchtime discussion, but the on-going "forum of events, presentations and discussions about Los Angeles and Los Angeles issues" does offer Downtowners a place to share ideas.

The Habeas Index presents: Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne, authors of "The Urban Homestead"/ Thursday, August 7, 2008 from 12:30 to 1:30pm / The HABEAS INDEX is located on the middle level of @ 7+FIG (735 S. Figueroa Street)

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