Modular urban farm

Area characterisation: 

After abondoning the original implementation area at the administrative building in the north of the Living Lab, the farm is now located near the therapy garden and other NbS implementations on the former meat processing plant.


The modular urban farm is a platform for presenting modern food production technologies to the interested public and the local community. It provides direct access to and close encounter with applications and practical features of green technologies. Key goals include:

  • Increasing local food production throughout the year independent of climate and whether conditions.
  • Presenting modern food production technologies to interested citizens.
  • Experimenting with keeping a constant temperature in the container and its power supply given the green wall and roof acting as natural insulation.
  • Offering educational and scientific learning while harnessing synergies with the users of the therapeutic garden.

The Living Lab is within the Sesvete district in the East of Zagreb at the foothills of the Medvednica mountain. With its 70,000 inhabitants, Sesvete has the youngest population in Croatia, and a strong community and entrepreneurial spirit. Located on various key European traffic routes, Sesvete has an industrial past and present, with a particularly active car and construction industry. Distinctive, tall silo buildings form part of Sesvete’s skyline and industrial heritage. In particular, the site of the former meat-processing factory, Sljeme, is the core of the Living Lab, with green plans in place for the silo buildings themselves and the surrounding areas.

The urban farm combines two NbS: A modular container features green wall and roof technologies outside, and a small aquaponics system inside.
Either solar panels or classic electricity fixtures generate the needed energy supply. The green wall and roof significantly reduce the sensitivity of the assembly to atmospheric conditions - insulating the inside of the farm from temperature extremes and absorbing excess rainwater through green roof technology. The NbS is a green and mobile technology centre open to the public.

Potential impacts/benefits: 

The modular urban farm has been in operation since September 2021, experimenting with the combination of green walls and roof technologies with aquaponics and photovoltaic. In the process, several suitable roof and wall plants have been tested for the Zagreb climate to be recommended for wider use. Prior to the installation of the aquaponics system, detailed analysis resulted in drawing up realistic business models, thus making it appealing to local residents. The installed modular urban farm container provides a showcase for application and practical features of such technologies.

Vesela Motika organised a series of educational modules on gardening and composting at the therapeutic garden. The local community, the local self-government, and institutions related to the nearby NbS 3 - Therapeutic garden implementation attended the events.

Together with partners, VM developed on-site hands-on NbS education modules:
MODULE 1: Circular economy and sustainability of urban environments using NbS
MODULE 2: Greening urban areas using NbS
MODULE 3: Food production in urban areas and short food supply chains
MODULE 4: Technological aspects of solutions based on NbS
The education modules are based on national strategy documents. Thus forming the base to develop an educational program, dissemination of the documents to foster better understanding.

VM conducts performance measurements of the green roof and green walls independently. Data collection is on-going, possibly resulting in a scientific paper. VM explored the possibility of growing Oak tree seedlings in a controlled environment with promising results. Growing Oak seedlings in a container farm would facilitate the distribution to local areas.

NbS benefits 
  • Developing climate change adaptation; improving risk management and resilience
  • More energy efficient buildings
  • Increase Biodiversity
  • Creation of green jobs relating to construction & maintenance of NBS
  • Increase social interaction
  • Increase well-being
  • Provision of health benefits
  • Social inclusion

EU Horizon 2020 project::

Total implementation budget: 176.000 €
proGIreg funding: 168.000 €

NbS classification 
  • Alluvial meadows
  • Arctic green wall

Modular urban farm