It can be tricky for green design to take roots in urban cities like Los Angeles. But here, Southern California Institute of Architecture students teamed with faculty and city officials to create a rooftop garden project that will bloom with edible results. Based on a prototype designed by architect and university professor Alexis Rochas, the SYNTHe project grew atop The Flat, a residential mid-rise in downtown L.A. Prefab metal and recycled plywood “grow channels” were built staggered for maximum sun exposure and filled with a lightweight, engineered growth medium. The garden, part of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council, filters airborne pollutants, helps insulate the building and collects storm water run-off. [via inhabitat]