The eco-friendly commercial development company behind One World Trade Center is putting DIY urban composting to shame by proposing a plan to compost food from residents' kitchens, paving the way for a future filled with rooftop farm produce fertilized with the rotting carcasses of Planters nuts and imported organic fruit baskets from Whole Foods.
The Durst Organization, which also owns Manhattan office buildings like One Bryant Park (Bank of America) and Four Times Square (Conde Nast), is known for its commitment to sustainable architecture, and even outfitted One Bryant Park with fancy eco-gadgets like waterless urinals and a rainwater-collecting green roof.
Now, though, they're stretching those green thumbs even further, pledging up to $1 million to install rooftop gardens on all their buildings, which they plan to fertilize using tossed food from office workers' pantries and fridges. "Green roofs are an increasingly important part of our urban ecosystem," Helena Durst, Durst Organization's vice president, told the WSJ. "Beyond diverting storm water runoff, they provide cooling by absorbing sunlight that would otherwise be converted to heat energy, and they can capture pollutants and filter noxious gases."
Durst's not the only developer extolling the virtues of rooftop gardens: they've been popping up all over the city over the past couple of years, and more companies are looking into installing them. Which means, of course, that it's only a matter of time before rooftop and urban gardens go from being hip and trendy to SO Manhattan, and totally over.