See you, NYC!

Most valuable part of our New York trip for me were companies’ visits. And last week was not an exception. First three weeks were more formal and “corporative”, but forth was about sustainability and 2 companies were small but smart.

New York is a city where rooftop space very popular and most popular bars you can find here. This space also used for making small gardens but Brooklyn grange went further and start growing the vegetables, fruits and herbs.

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Company has 3 categories of customers: wholesale, markets and community customers – people who subscribe for production and receive weekly basket of fresh food. Demand very high and some of customers already in waiting list. Additional revenues company receives from consulting services for design and installation projects and organization tours and events on farms – dinners, films screening etc. Now company operates 2 roofs with common area of 2,5 acres.

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This year company add new activity to its business – bee keeping and honey production. In near future plans extension of area – company looking the new roof but it is not easy because technical specific (usage of residential buildings’ roof can dangerous because they are constructed for lower load).

Project is young – company started only in 2010. Think in the same time we had starts of first farming projects in Russia – eating fresh local food turned to fashion movement and now it’s more and more popular. Sure that this type of activity can be successful in Moscow too, just not sure how long can be procedure of authorization for any type of activity on roof and how easy of difficult can be find progressive owner of appropriate building.

Other company which we visited was Green map system. It’s non-profit organization for unusual citizen activism – collecting information about neighborhood and making it more convenient for people.

From first days in New York I was surprised how many big and small parks and green areas here. Later I found that it was a part of Michael Bloomberg’s city development plan – to have green area in 10 minutes’ walk for all citizens in each district of NYC. But i don’t think how diverse this system. Founding director of Green map system Wendy E. Brawer showed us on our walking tour in Alphabet city where her company has office, some community gardens – very nice small area those I never saw in Russia. In some case those gardens open for public, in some cases only for community, but it any cases it help makes life in this area more convenient and pleasant.

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Green map system provides instrument how to do information about area like those make more open and useful. Since 1995 hundreds of Green maps created locally in 65 countries. But unfortunately on the company site I found only one project in Russia – Kazan water map. Not enough for so huge country! My previous experience in newspapers told me that big potential can be in collaboration between Green map and publishing houses those interesting in new instruments and projects which can entertain their audience. I will try to make it real. It’s absolutely win-win situation.

Last week in big apple coved and I would like to say thank you, NYC for this very interesting time! It was great experience and I hope to see you again! I don’t say “Adieu!” See you!

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