Greening Your Property: How Urban Gardening Can Enhance the Value and Sustainability of Commercial Buildings

Urban gardening is becoming increasingly popular with commercial and residential properties, and for good reason. Urban gardening provides numerous benefits to the property owner and tenants while promoting wellness, biodiversity, and eco-friendliness. In this article, we will be discussing the different types of urban gardens, the differences between urban gardens in residential versus commercial buildings, and the ESG benefits of urban gardening for commercial property owners.

Types of Urban Gardens

We have identified three main types of urban gardens that can be implemented in commercial and residential properties: outdoor gardens, indoor gardens, and rooftop gardens. Outdoor gardens can include raised garden beds or container gardens in the landscaping of the property (or on the roof); and indoor gardens can include hydroponic systems or plant walls, which create a unique design feature for the property. Rooftop gardens are planted gardens that exist on a rooftop and can be extensive – having planting medium of three to six inches (eg. A rooftop lawn), or intensive – having a growing medium more than six inches (eg: deep planters with shrubs and trees). Rooftop gardens are becoming increasingly popular as they can provide a relaxing outdoor space for employees or residents and can also reduce energy costs by improving insulation. Each of these types of gardens can be planted for farming (herbs, fruits, and vegetables) or as a relaxing green space with plants and trees.

Differences between Urban Gardens in Residential versus Commercial Buildings

Specific to farming gardens, there are a few key differences between urban gardens in residential versus commercial buildings. In residential buildings, the focus is on providing a relaxing outdoor space for residents as well as creating tenant engagement opportunities – for many urban apartment dwellers, having a plot of dirt to play in is valued and appreciated. Residents may even organize a garden club, taking over management of the gardens during the growing season.

In commercial buildings, the focus is more on providing a unique design feature or amenity that can attract potential tenants or clients, as well as demonstrating in a meaningful way, the building owner’s commitment to sustainability. Commercial tenants are less likely to be involved in the maintenance of a farming garden, so ensuring there is service to maintain the garden and the harvest is important. Additionally, in commercial buildings, there may be more restrictions on what can be grown due to zoning laws and building codes.

ESG Benefits of Urban Gardening for Commercial Property Owners

Implementing urban gardening in commercial properties provides numerous ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) benefits. First, it promotes sustainability and reduces the property’s carbon footprint. This can be attractive to potential tenants or clients who prioritize environmental responsibility. Second, indoor urban gardening can improve air quality, which can have a positive impact on the health and well-being of residents and employees. Third, it can reduce the property’s energy costs by improving insulation and reducing the heat island effect. Fourth, the harvest from a farming garden supports food security, and finally, urban gardening can create a sense of community among residents and employees, which can lead to increased employee productivity, tenant satisfaction, and retention.

Another benefit is that urban gardens help our honeybees. Most of our food supply requires the help of bees to thrive, but due in part to habitat loss, the bees are in trouble. Urban gardens help by providing a habitat for them to forage in.

Getting Started with Urban Gardening

Urban gardening is a trend that is here to stay, and it provides numerous benefits to commercial and residential property owners. Whether you choose an outdoor, indoor, or rooftop garden, urban gardening can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property, reduce operating costs, and promote sustainability.

We can help you determine if an urban garden is suitable for your property and discuss what would be involved to get a garden set up and maintained during and after the growing season. Contact your Property Manager for more information.