Convient Climate Solution: Green Roofs

Green Roof
Chicago, the USA leader in green roofs, has one on top of the city hall.
Green roofs are a great way for buildings to conveniently become more sustainable, as they absorb excess storm water and save energy.

Studying environmental problems is interdisciplinary, meaning that there are many fields that come into play when analyzing climate change. Therefore, institutional reform can be a convenient method to encourage urban spaces to adopt sustainable practices that are attainable. After all, institutions on all levels must adapt to reflect the interrelation of environmental and economic problems. 

Implementing green roofs on buildings that already exist is an amazing architectural method to utilize valuable space in cities, and can create new opportunities for sustainable businesses. For example, my family purchases basil from Gotham Greens, an environmentally-driven farming company which locally grows its food from rooftop greenhouses in Chicago, where I live. Due to Gotham Greens’ imaginative outlook on putting vacant urban spaces to good use, the futuristic farm is able to produce high-quality greens by using significantly less water, land, and energy. 

While it is outstanding that a small business has the means to accomplish such sustainable achievements, insightful policy makers within cities are needed in order to expand the productive idea of green roofs. Although this practice may not be well developed within the US, green roofs have been deeply tested and established within Europe. Therefore, American ecologists must study how green roofs prove to be a successful endeavor in Europe to increasingly integrate these plant practices into the United States. 

In cities known to flood often, green roofs pose a viable solution, as they would absorb much of the excess rainwater. Green roofs also lower greenhouse gas emissions, since the plants take in carbon dioxide. Biodiversity is increased due to rooftop plants becoming habitats for birds, and that many various plants can be planted and preserved within green rooftops. With all of these environmental benefits and more, green roofs prove to help slow disastrous environmental effects of cities. 

Reconstructing our entire cities in order to be more sustainable would be a costly endeavor that many policymakers would unfortunately veto. However, by combining the architecture and scientific data of the benefits of green roofs, cities can easily become more sustainable with few alterations. Depleted natural resources can become replenished with the addition of green roofs throughout a city. Similar to environmental studies, green roofs are quite interdisciplinary and require the understanding of multiple fields in order to become successful. Economists are needed to evaluate the cost efficiency of green roofs in order to confirm to others their energy savings indeed have economic benefits. Sociologists evaluate the qualities that individuals value most within these sustainable designs. Science helps provoke sustainable technology to become a reality, and with the insight of several different careers is when the transformative environmental solution of green roofs can be accomplished. 

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Posted by Ava Hedeker on Oct 28, 2020 8:10 AM America/Chicago

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