Melbourne's exciting new green roof initiative

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Australia is one of the world leaders when it comes to conservation and green strategy. Now, Melbourne Council has taken the lead, assessing every rooftop in the city in order to find potential places for its new greening project.

London, Birmingham, Manchester and more could take a leaf out of the Australian city’s book, as this is a brave new step towards a greener city.

Why do the Australians want more green roofs?

Melbourne is densely populated and its hot temperatures can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to vegetation.

Controlled green roofs could have a beneficial effect for the local population, the wildlife and, of course, the residents.

Melbourne has 880 hectares of roof space and the study revealed that very little of it currently serves a purpose. Green projects, including solar panels, cover just 7.8 hectares of the available roof space.

melbourne skyline lots of tall buildings

Hot in the city" Many of these rooftops could be used better to combat the urban heat island effect

City Skyline by bobarcpics licensed under Creative commons 4

 

Solar energy has massive potential in any city and should form part of any holistic green strategy, so it is no surprise that sun baked Melbourne wants to increase its solar energy capability.

Cool roofs are also an option. These involve coating buildings in special paint, which reflects heat back away from the building and into the environment.

Green roofs, though, could also have a huge impact. Melbourne Council has identified more than 230 hectares of potential green roof space, which could transform the city skyline.

Following the findings, the local council is now looking at ways to structure incentives and tax breaks to push developers to adopt green roofs and to fund the investment in sedum matting, irrigation and more that will be an inevitable part of turning a grey roof into a lavish garden.

Green roofing saves councils money too

Interestingly, it makes good business sense for the council too. Temperatures tend to be higher in cities and in 2013, AECOM, a consulting company, estimated that Melbourne spent £25 million a year as a direct and indirect result of the additional heat. This adds up to billions over the course of the coming decades, so anything the council can do to combat this temperature increase naturally has to be a positive step.

All eyes will be on Melbourne’s green roof project, because it might pave the way for a leaner, greener future for cities across the world.

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