December 9, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

The ambitious $3 million 2,000m2 rooftop urban farm and venue taking shape on top of a Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre-owned carpark has completed its first stage, with the urban farm section now fully planted.

The urban farm has been created using special planter boxes designed and manufactured by Biofilta in Melbourne after seven years of research and development and around $1 million in investment. Director of Biofilta Brendan Condon is also the director and instigator of the Melbourne Skyfarm project.

When the new venue opens in the second half of 2022, it will feature a 90-seat café, event space and classroom space for sustainability education.

The urban farm will produce approximately five tonnes of produce a year, which will be used within Melbourne Skyfarm menus and donated to OzHarvest.

“Melbourne Skyfarm aims to be a wonderful platform to showcase what is possible for sustainable cities embracing the future, showcasing Australian designed and manufactured urban farming systems to demonstrate the huge food growing potential that exists in cities if we harness good design, urban farming innovation and circular economy principles,” said Condon.

MCEC is also an enthusiastic supporter of Melbourne Skyfarm.

“We are thrilled to be involved in such an innovative project which will benefit not only MCEC’s customers, visitors and employees but the Melbourne CBD as a whole, especially the South Wharf and Docklands precincts,” said MCEC Chief Executive Peter King.

“Skyfarm is a wonderful opportunity for MCEC to lead the way for businesses to take charge of their responsibility to the environment.

“We acknowledge the obligation we have to reduce our demand on the planet’s finite resources and through the opening of Skyfarm, we are sending a message that we can and will do more for our community and the environment.”

The first stage of the project was supported by a $300,000 grant from the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forestry Fund.