From the point of view of the environment, cities actually have quite a bit going for them. From public transport infrastructure to recycling opportunities, the number of inhabitants in cities can make them ideal places to introduce sustainable practises that may simply not be viable where populations are more sparse.
However one area where they can fall down is in terms of the lack of green spaces. Parks help to a degree, but gardens are being seen as more and more of a luxury.
However there is an opportunity here in the form of roof gardens on the top of skyscrapers, apartment buildings and so on. Taking an otherwise unused space and turning it into a small green oasis of life.
Here are just a few of the ways that roof gardens can help us to “regreen” the city…
Gardens offer a valuable haven to our wildlife in terms of places to hide, breed, forage for food and so on and yet as our green spaces disappear in towns and cities around the world, this vital resource is shrinking in size. Roof gardens provide the opportunity to turn back the clock and encourage wildlife back into our cities. Which is good not only for nature, but also has the potential to bring color and life to our own everyday comings and goings.
Cities produce a lot of pollution that can be bad for the planet and bad for your health. Plants offer a natural way to combat this pollution by filtering the air around us. More roof gardens means more plants which in turn can mean cleaner air for us all to breathe.
As climate change speeds up, water distribution around the world is likely to change. Regular weather patterns may instead shift to periods of draught and terrential downpours.
In nature, the soil in combination with trees and plants help to protect the earth and absorb large volumes of water though with more and more countryside being cut down each year we need another solution. Whilst only a small part of this, roof gardens have the potential to help to control moisture in our surroundings.
Having a layer of soil and plants ontop of a building can help to serve as additional insulation keeping us warm in winter and cool in summer. As well as more pleasant environment to live and work in, this also has the potential to reduce our energy needs from artificial heating or cooling.
One weakness of urban areas is the way they are so built up, leaving little or no space for food production. Because of this, huge articulated lorries move around our streets, clogging up the roads and producing massive amounts of pollution.
Anything we can do to reduce the volume of food that comes into our towns and cities must be seen as a good thng and roof gardens give us the possibility of growing some fruit and vegetables far closer to home.
This is a hard concept to quantify, but quite simply roof gardens can provide nourishment for the soul. In busy, dirty towns and cities with no real life around one can start to feel cloustrophobic. Roof gardens have the potential to give us back some green spaces to spend time in, watch nature or simply sit and enjoy the beauty of the plants and animals found there.