Urbanscape Green Roofs

Could green roofs help curb city winter air pollution crisis?

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Dec 12, 2016 4:05:19 PM

Paris is constantly entering into its emergency measures as the city struggles with exceptionally high air pollution levels. Controls on vehicles, free public transport and advice to limit intense sports and avoid large traffic sites at time of high circulation are just some of the measures being taken by the French government to protect residents from the effect of the most prolonged air pollution in the last ten years.

Paris is not the only one; Athens, Madrid and Ljubljana are just some of the Europeans cities currently taking urgent steps to control growing air pollution; a problem which according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is set to cause as many as nine million premature deaths a year around the world in the next four decades. And the World Health Organisation (WHO) has described this problem as the “world’s largest single environmental health risk”.

Unfortunately, reducing the emission of new air pollutants does not remove those that are already in the air.

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Topics: Heat island effect (UHI), air pollution, LEED, BREEAM, EPD

World’s leading municipalities demand more green roofs to fight dust particle pollution

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Oct 27, 2015 1:00:07 PM

Green Roofs - more than just bringing beauty

Green roofs are a rapidly growing trend across the world’s cities as policy makers become increasingly committed to improving their urban environment:

  • In addition to bringing beauty to grey places and enhancing biodiversity, green roofs help cool inner city areas which can be up to 7oC hotter than their surroundings and they ease stress on municipal drainage systems by cuttings rainwater run-off.

 

  • Green roofs also improve residents' health by improving air quality as they absorb dust particle pollution and consume CO2.

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Topics: Heat island effect (UHI), Measuring performance

Why Urban Heat Island (UHI) Reduction is critically important and how Green Roofs can help

Posted by Jure Sumi on Oct 13, 2015 9:32:20 AM

The urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014. In 2014, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) published a revised version of the World Urbanization Prospects. According to the report, 54 per cent of the world’s population today lives in urban areas, a figure that is expected to rise to 66 per cent by 2050.

 

URBANISATION GROWTH RATE CONTINUES TO INCREASE

Projections indicate that with the current rate of urbanization combined with overall global population growth, the world’s urban population could surpass 6 billion by 2045 and reach as much as 6.4 billion adding a total 2.5 billion more people to the world’s urban population inside the next 35 years.

“Managing urban areas has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century. Our success or failure in building sustainable cities will be a major factor in the success of the post-2015 UN development agenda,” says John Wilmoth, Director of the UN’s DESA Population Division.

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Topics: Heat island effect (UHI), Measuring performance

How green roofs can reduce urban heat island effect (UHI) during constant heatwaves in Europe

Posted by Maja Tomazin on Aug 11, 2015 12:05:00 PM

What is Urban Heat Island (UHI)?

Urban heat island is a term describing the effect on cities and urban areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. It is the difference in mean air temperature of a city compared to the surrounding countryside that can be some 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) higher on annual average and around 22°F (12°C) during the evening according to the American EPA (www.epa.gov). This effect is the result of building roofs as well as roads, sidewalks, parking lots and other gray infrastructure blocking the heat coming from the ground from rising and dispersing into the air. At night heat remains trapped lower to the ground which makes the air temperature warmer. Side effects include poorer air quality, due to higher concentrations of pollutants in the air (waste products from people, industry, vehicles) and lower water quality.

Current extreme heatwaves are contributing to even bigger UHI effects

Southern and Southwestern Europe are facing extreme heatwaves this July, which affect communities by increasing summer’s peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, even heat-related illness and mortality rates. The heatwave, enveloping Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the Balkan Countries, has continued since late June and is expected to continue in the near future. In several cities temperatures are rising to as high as 40°C. Those suffering the most are the densely populated and built-up urban areas. And as people are trying to ease the heat in their homes by using electric fans and air-conditioning, they are at the same time contributing to an even warmer urban heat island effect. And so the process comes full circle.


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Topics: Heat island effect (UHI)