Green Rooftops of Adelaide

Green rooftop

Reduce the carbon footprint of the CBD by implementing and visualizing a Green Roofs plan with the roof space converted to solar panels and garden.

How this will impact Adelaide's carbon emissions

The land required for buildings and roads is at the expense of parks and other green spaces. Less vegetated surfaces lead to a decrease in evaporative cooling, which creates an urban heat island, and non-permeable surfaces result in increased surface runoff of rainwater (Gill et al 2007). Both of these features of the urban built environment will be amplified by climate change; therefore the identification and utilization of suitable areas to implement green infrastructure such as rooftop gardens is important in urban planning.

In an existing urban area such as Adelaide, it is not feasible to create large new green spaces, and therefore greenspace will need to be added creatively by making the most of all opportunities such as greening of roofs, building facades, street tree planting and conversion of selected streets into greenways. There is also huge potential for capitalising on the solar potential of a lot of buildings in the Adelaide CBD for the purpose of moving further towards renewable energy sources and buildings becoming more self-sustaining.

Rooftop gardens are a form of urban green space that can have multiple functions such as aesthetic (decoration), functional (leisure, health, education), ecological (habitat for flora, fauna, provide better local climate), technical (coping with storm water runoff and enhancing water quality), symbolic (as a symbol of the city); or speculative (as a resource for urban exploitation ie. Fruit/veg production) (Sandström 2002).

Greening roofs in areas with a high proportion of buildings has proven to be an effective strategy to reduce surface temperatures and for managing stormwater runoff in many places in the world such as the USA, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and Singapore (Gill et al 2007). Studies in Adelaide have also had successful results and have been able to identify the most suitable plant species for green roofs as well as their thermal performance (Razzaghmanesh, Beecham and Kazemi 2014 and Razzaghmanesh 2015). The implementation of both green roofs and solar panels in conjunction will enhance energy efficiency, improve the climate of the city and create a unique and appealing urban landscape.

Voting has now closed for the Wildcard prize. Stay tuned to find out which project will be the 11th finalist.

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