Sunday, October 27, 2019

Rooftop Gardens — Combating Climate Change

Suburban and rural areas have more farmlands and more open lawn spaces but that doesn’t mean they are more suitable than cities for all species. In fact, for some species urban areas are considered to be a better alternative. In suburban and rural areas, more farms means that there are more pesticides present compared to places like Now York City where there are fewer farms and lawns and therefore fewer pesticides. Rooftop gardens are the perfect way to bring native species back to the cities and are being used to try and increase some of the major declining species like monarch butterflies and honey bees.

A new law is set to take place next month to try and combat climate change. This law would require new buildings to take action by providing either solar panels or a rooftop green space. Real estate groups surrounding the city are not happy with this law saying that it is unfair to require such demands due to the fact that it is more expensive for owners and it can be a burden to maintain a rooftop garden. Others stress that animals in the city can be annoying and out of place. For example the bee swarm that attacked the hot dog stand in New York City a few years ago. Others are suggesting that The Green Point Project can have a positive effect on the city by allowing calming public spaces. Workers can be brought to the roofs via school field trips, community service projects, and even parties.
A New York Times article states that there are currently 730 green roofs in New York which covers only 60 of the city’s 40,000 acres in rooftop space. The article also stresses how urban cities have so much potential to create and rebuild natural habitats. With birds, butterflies, and honey bees significantly decreasing population size over the past few decades, rooftop gardens would be a great way to help try and increase these populations. These gardens would attract the species mentioned above and allow them a safe place to make their homes, away from pesticides. Some effort large or small is all that is being asked for by the residents in the city. From something as large as a whole rooftop garden and designing windows that prevent bird collisions to something as small as a flower box with native plants and a patch of dirt on the side of the road. 

With more urgency being expressed about the harsh reality of our future due to climate change impacts, people are determined to start combating the issue. Small steps like adding a flowering box outside the window are the steps in the right direction that will only get bigger in time. Everyone has to start helping somewhere. Hopefully with this new law taking place in New York, urban areas like the cities can help regrow native species and make a better effort in caring for our planet. It’s the only one we have.

- Posted by "Sophie DeRepentigny" (7)


  1. I think the new law should be introduced nation wide, particularly in all major cities. This initiative would not only help to prevent the decline of major pollinators but also combat heat accumulation in cities. The black rooftops in cities increase the temperature by more then 2 degrees Celsius on average, which is a lot on the global scale. And green roof tops don't even have to be huge gardens to achieve the positive effect. In Germany most new buildings have a sod roofs which helps keep the houses cool, prevent water leakage and produce space for pollinators. It's a small investment with high impact.

    1. Thats interesting, I didn't know that Germany had sod roofs on buildings. I think it is interesting to see how other countries are combating climate change. I think the US has a lot to learn from some of the other countries that are doing a better job with environmental practices. I would be interested to learn more about what other countries have for strategies. I also agree that this rule should be implemented in all major cities.
      -Sophie DeRepentigny

  2. Rooftop Gardens are negligible in the effects of preventing global warming. The problem really comes from excess CO2 output and deforestation in large scales. Having rooftop gardens in every city in the world could help very little, but is a task that is almost impossible to perform.

    - King Wahib