Green Roofs for Living

Arnoud van den Heuvel
March 5th 2008

This impression shows the ambitions of the city of Rotterdam for the coming decade. The city is supposed to have an image problem concerning its greenlife; as a big industrial harbour city in The Netherlands, there are almost no parks in the center. So where space in citycenters is generally built to the max, the roofs should be taking the city's ecology to the next level. According to environmental psychologist Sjerp de Vries, it is a proven fact that the more green people see, the less stress they experience. Hence they will feel more at home, social contacts improve as well as the air quality. Green roofs improve the quality of life.

green roofs overview
Some advantages of green roofs over regular roofs in cities:

  • - the water holding capacity increases which leaves less water to be processed by the sewer system
  • - the air quality improves in both temperature and traffic dust
  • - noises are being muffled
  • - the way people experience the roof landscape changes; in general people would prefer green over blacktop
  • - roof gardens 'breathe'; they isolate in winter and cool the buildings down in the summer, cutting energy costs
  • - new housing for various species like plants, flowers, mosses and small life like bees and birds

chicago city hall
Rooftop Chicago City Hall

Cities in the world that stimulate / subsidise the laying out of green roofs:

  • - Stuttgart, Germany
  • - Munster, Germany
  • - Basel, Switzerland
  • - Malmö, Sweden
  • - Chicago, USA
  • - Portland, Oregan, USA
  • - Toronto, Canada
  • - Antwerp, Belgium
  • - Gent, Belgium
  • - Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The project in Rotterdam is going to cost approximately 15 million Euros and targets on realization in 2016. (dutch)
Related posts: Plant a Building | The Living Tower | Park Buildings | A Room With A View | Lego Towers | Tropical Dome

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!public: 1

Posted 06/03/2008 – 10:03

I believe these type of ‘use your roof’ projects are closely related to the google earth software: For centuries people weren’t aware of their roofs, but now that you can easily look at your roof through your internet browser and you see this large unused space! Since google earth, people get to appreciate their roofs as places you can cultivate.

Posted 06/03/2008 – 02:27


What is your view on the coronavirus?

Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

Already a member? Login.