Bring Life to our Rooftops
The roofs of Vancouver are an un-tapped resource from both a social and biodiversity perspective. The City could initiate a program to encourage the conversion of existing flat, inaccessible roofs to useable, productive greenspace. This could include omitting rooftop access points (stairs & elevators) from height restrictions, providing tax breaks to buildings that eliminate rainwater runoff to the sewer system, or establishing financing mechanisms and consultation to support stratas and individuals undertaking renovations.
The scale of conversion could range from installing standard green-roof systems to rooftop decks with planter boxes to full scale rooftop agriculture. This would help bring back much needed habitat for birds and bees ("greening the matrix") while creating new green social spaces for use by residents.
Policies to support public access to roofs in some new developments would also be great.
Currently exploring an approach to addressing cool roofs, green roofs & walls.
NOTE: Laara Cerman's idea "Gardens on roofs of apartments and in apartment common areas. There's lots of space."
I love green roofs. They are visually appealing and great for the environment. Also good habitats for bee populations.
NOTE: pr's idea "greenhouse on flat roofed industrial" has been merged with this one.
"Encourage the building of hydroponic greenhouses on the acres and acres and acres of unproductive rooftop surrounding vancouver. Currently we build hydroponic greenhouses away from the city on highly productive farmland. The land is wasted and the food travels greater distances. Industrial rooftops would bring food production closer to town and utelize vast areas of blank urban space. There would be a cost benefit to the food producers as the "land" is readily available and could be zoned similarly to rural land. We would be saving farmland for farming.Hydroponic greenhouses are not excessively heavy therefore existing industrial buildings could be easily retrofittted or new ones build for nominal additional costs. The food we eat would be produces where we live."
Jim T commented
I really like the idea of rooftop gardens; whether on buildings that are homes for people or industrial buildings, green roofs should be encouraged. Were the space used to grow vegetables, think of the benefits! Having gardens where you can just relax would be beneficial for people and birds/insects. Driving over the Knight Street bridge, you can see buildings (industrial buildings) on the the river front where a green roof would have been beautiful, but instead you see gravel and black tar. People are always saying that we should be growing our own food and all, so what a great place to do it! Also, the benefits of green roofs in reducing run-off water would be great and the water would be cleaned through the plants and what not. Also, having green roofs in areas of concrete would help cool the air and reduce the greenhouse effect that happens around cities. We can do it Vancouver!
Note: Clelie's idea "Encourage green roofs" has been merged with this one.
"Mandate green roofs ( usable for food production and use by people) for new contruction. Create a program to retrofit existing buildings. Support landlords in making this space available to tenants to grow food and to decompress."
Note: Benjamin's idea "Sky Gardens" has been merged with this one.
"Most buildings in Downtown Vancouver are for housing, and well people in those houses would love to have a garden, BUT they can't since they don't have a lot of room to do so. But what if we can use that huge empty space on buliding tops to create gardns ... more
Most buildings in Downtown Vancouver are for housing, and well people in those houses would love to have a garden, BUT they can't since they don't have a lot of room to do so. But what if we can use that huge empty space on buliding tops to create gardens in the sky, it uses all that empty space to create a beautiful areial view. It will encourage people to grow their own food, maybe it could bring back animals (birds) to the city, it may reduce flooding, heat, and greenhouse gas emmisions, and IT SURE DOES LOOK GOOD"
Colleen M commented
Visually and environmentally -- I'd like to see more and more of this. I'd like to do it on my own house. Tell me how?
Great idea!! I'm out of votes but when some get freed up, this idea is next on the list :)
BC Hydro should be encouraged to lease out rooftop space on suitable structures for the installation of renewables (solar) to build local energy production....