Posted in Ageing & Culture, Caregiving, The Built Environment

Sustainable Rooftop Greenhouses in Urban Agedcare Facilities

How can we create meaningful and sustainable rooftop gardens. For all the city dwellers reading this, it’s probably no surprise when you see a roottop garden looking tired and dried out after a while, people tend to potter around abit when the garden is first developed but it gets left lonely after a while. People start complaining about the heat in the garden, there is not much to do but wander around in the head. Staff finds that it’s too much of a pain and it get left unattended and left in the wayside. Before you know you the rooftop garden is an empty space with a few giant empty plant pots like hollowed sad eye staring at the sky.

Modern rooftop gardens look great in million dollar condominiums, hospitals and shopping malls. Very flashy and fresh with a multitude of plants, but for a nursing home or an agedcare facility, these are not temporary living spaces, there are people’s homes, where they spend a good number of years in their life. The space is needs to be much more then just therapeutic eye candy. It has to give meaning and purpose, to provide social activities, engagement and movement.


If you lived in an aged care facility don’t you want to be part of a garden that you feel that you can give life to, to contribute to growth, where the people who care for you can benefit from your work despite living with a chronic health condition and requiring much care. You don’t want to stare at people tending to the garden remaining you of restrictions, your loss of function and dignity. You want to be part of the action, to feel life in your hands, and to support growth in another.


A wheelchair accessible raised vegetable bed. Image from


Creating the right environment, a rooftop greenhouse or farm in an aged care facility can bring together staff and residents in a healthy and meaningful social activity. To grow sustainable, fresh and delicious produce for their own facility for everyone instead of eating produce that travelled 500kms from an unidentified farm using unknown chemicals and farming methods that you wouldn’t want to know about. Where families can join in and even students from community programmes.


I found this cool local website easigardens that promotes vegetable kits in Singapore and provide a range of vegetables like spinach, kang kong, xiao bai cai etc.

Rooftop greenhouses are a great sustainable idea for everyone. Anyway before I sign off, here are some videos that provide you the who, where, what, why and how regarding the concept, design and application of a rooftop greenhouse in urban residential living.

Let’s create an Inclusive not reclusive environment!

Growing a Rooftop Revolution

How a Rooftop Garden feeds a City


Hi, I'm Dr Joanna Sun, Co-author of the Singapore Environmental Assessment Tool. I am very passionate about working towards improving the care of people with dementia, and I hope my work will make a difference.

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