Dublin, Ireland
City population: 1263035
Duration: 2014 – 2014
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Building, Other
Last updated: October 2021

The Belvedere College Urban Farm is run by students from the school and by the Urban Farm start-up. The complex consists of a greenhouse and an open farm, both situated on the rooftop of Belvedere College. The project serves as a testing ground for researching sustainable farming practices, provides education and practical experience on the topic to students, and is part of a collaborative food network in the local area. (ref 1, 7, 8)

Belvedere College Urban Farm


Nature-based solution

  • Nature on buildings
  • Green roofs
  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Allotments
  • Nature in buildings
  • Other
  • Green areas for water management
  • Other

Key challenges

  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Stormwater and rainfall management and storage
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Environmental quality
  • Air quality improvement
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Regulation of built environment
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Environmental education
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Sustainable production


Creation of new green areas

Project objectives

1. Teach students about the importance of sustainable development and empower them to make educated choices about their own impact on the environment. 2. Bring to the local level issues of global concern: climate change, the efficient use of water and energy, how to build greener cities, and how to grow a secure and healthy food supply. 3. Teach students about plant life cycles, green technology, sustainable farming practices, how much energy is used to produce food, and the relationships between diet and health, food and the environment. 4. Promote the greening of vacant space and increase biodiversity in the city. 5. Decrease the heat island effect, water runoff, and improve air quality. 6. Implement a holistic learning approach, where students make connections between what they are learning in science and social studies and how all of it is reflected in the world in which they live. (ref 1)

Implementation activities

1. The place features an open rooftop farm and a glass-roofed science laboratory with a vertical hydroponic vegetable farm and an aquaponic fish farm. 2. Growing potatoes, vegetables, fruit, herbs, seeds, and fungi; farming fish; keeping beehives. 3. Selling food to local restaurants. 4. Coffee waste is used as compost for the fungi . 5. Fish produce waste which is used as an organic food source for the growing of plants, thus forming a closed loop system which purifies the water and feeds the plants. 6. There are plans to make use of beneficial bugs for pest control, introduce chickens, and replace commercial fish food with worms grown on-site. The chickens will eat the bed of seed and greens that remains after the wheatgrass is harvested, and also produce manure for the crops. 7. A rainwater harvesting system is in place to irrigate the farm on the roof. (ref 1, 3, 4, 7, 8)

Main beneficiaries

  • Public sector institution (e.g. school or hospital)
  • Researchers/University
  • Young people and children


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Public sector institution
  • Private sector/corporate actor/company

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The farm is a school-based business run by students from Belvedere College together with people from the Urban Farm project, where both sides are involved in all aspects of development including growing infrastructure, curriculum integration, production and use of produce. Urban Farm are a Dublin-based start-up that initiates urban agriculture projects within the city by using simple organic techniques & the latest technologies in LED lighting and microprocessor controlled aquaponic, hydroponic and fungi growth systems. The Belvedere College farm is one of several projects that they help co-ordinate. Other organizations have also supported the planning, design, and implementation of the Belvedere College farm by providing free services and goods: Torque Consulting Engineers Ltd., Jennings Design Studio, Switch Labs, the team at Tozer Seeds, Lumichip, QuickCrop, chefs and restaurateurs from The Boxty House, Chapter One, and Honest to Goodness. (ref 1, 4, 7, 10)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Other

Type of funding

  • Donations

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of goods
  • Provision of labour
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Other

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Lowered local temperature
  • Environmental quality
  • Improved air quality
  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Enhanced support of pollination
  • Restoration of derelict areas

Economic impacts

  • Increase in agricultural production (for profit or not)
  • Generation of income from NBS

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Increased access to healthy/affordable food
  • Increased sustainability of agriculture practices
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved mental health
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records