Rooftop gardens: 7 types of urban gardens on buildings

What are urban rooftop gardens like and what are they for? Below we will see several examples of rooftop gardens that can be installed on the terraces of hotels, restaurants or neighborhood communities.

Garden at the Waldford Astoria Hotel (New York)

We already talked in the post about types of urban gardens, some of the gardens in the cities, but the truth is that there are so many cultivation methods that dozens of other classifications can be made. Today we will talk about some urban gardens that, like the rest, are very beneficial for the environment of cities: rooftop gardens.

In addition to being able to enjoy all the benefits of urban gardens and the vegetation that usually accompany them (such as flowers from the garden or aromatic plants), in rooftop gardens you can also contemplate a beautiful view of the city.

Types of rooftop gardens

Below we will see a summary with some of the types of rooftop gardens that have most caught our attention during this time of visits to Gardens around the world.

1. Hotels with a rooftop garden

We have been visiting the garden on the roof of the Hotel Wellington in Madrid for a long time, but there are many other accommodations that offer their guests the possibility of consuming the vegetables and aromatics that are grown on top of the building in the hotel restaurant.

Some of the terraces of the orchard on the roof of the Hotel Wellington (Madrid)

The luxurious hotel of the Hilton chain, the Waldforf Astoria New York, also had, until its renovation, a large garden on its roof and, in the NH chain, hotels such as the Collection Barbizon Palace (Netherlands), the Berlin Alexanderplatz (Germany) or the NH Collection Eurobuilding (Madrid) also have their own rooftop gardens.

2. Rooftop gardens for the sale of organic products

An example is the City Farm urban garden in Tokyo, and also the great Brooklyn Grange Farm in New York, which is the largest rooftop urban garden in the world. More than 20,000 tons of organic vegetables are grown and sold there each year.

Orchard «Brookling Grange» (New York)

3. Therapeutic rooftop gardens

We have not been lucky enough to visit any hospital with a rooftop garden, although in the city of Madrid there are already several projects underway, such as the rooftop kindergarten at Hospital 12 de Octubre or Hospital La Paz.

Therapeutic garden at the Villaverde Alto Health Center, Madrid

In the city of Barcelona, ​​the «Hort al Terrat» project has already created five gardens on the roofs of municipal buildings that function as therapeutic gardens where more than 100 people with disabilities grow plants.

Whether on the roof or in the garden on the ground floor, hopefully more and more health centers and hospitals will join this initiative of therapeutic gardens, since there are many benefits of this type of space for patients and their families..

4. Rooftop greenhouses

It is amazing to see a large greenhouse on the roof of any building. As we saw in the post Greenhouses on rooftops, advantages of urban agriculture in height, cultivating rooftop gardens also has many benefits for cities and for those of us who live in them.

Gotham greens, rooftop greenhouses in Brooklyn, New York

Compared to conventional (unroofed) rooftop gardens, rooftop greenhouses have some advantages, such as lower incidence of pests and diseases, or protection from heavy rain or wind. But of course… that is also noticeable in what the initial investment costs, and, of course, rooftop gardens are cheaper.

5. Community rooftop gardens

We have visited several rooftop gardens set up by neighborhood associations or groups, such as the Anken Rooftop Garden in Shanghai. A community garden on the roof of a restaurant, where the Good to China association gives workshops and organizes urban gardeners who want to participate in the garden.

Garden «Anken Rooftop» (Shanghai)

6. Restaurants with a rooftop garden

There are more and more restaurants that, if they have the possibility, install an urban garden on the roof of their building that supplies them with the vegetables and aromatics that they use in their kitchens.

Urban garden on the roof of the Azurmendi restaurant

Elena showed us some rooftop garden restaurants in the article about the most famous garden restaurants in the world.

7. Planter garden on a roof or terrace

Finally, I did not want to leave without telling you about a possibility that is more within everyone’s reach: a flowerpot on the roof or in the terrace at home.

I leave you here below the series of videos “How to make a Flower Pot” from Canal Agrohuerto TV:

I hope that, if you have the possibility, you will be encouraged to install a garden on your roof. From Agrohuerto we will help you as much as we can!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post!! If you like it, rate it and help us spread the word so that more and more people are encouraged by this urban agriculture. Cheers!


  1. Ecologists in Action, 2009. Small manual of cultivation on rooftops. Ed.: Ecologists in Action of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Social Work of the Caja de Canarias.
  2. Briz, J. et al., 2017. Urban Agriculture in Height. Editorial Agrícola Española, SA ISBN: 8492928824.
  3. Mayor Aréjula, P. & Timón Arroyo, M., 2017. Organic gardens go up to the roofs of the best hotels. The World, Science and Health.
  4. Gutiérrez Abaunza, FD, 2019. Urban gardens, a second alternative. B33 Architecture Magazine, nº 4 (2019): Urban Studies.

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