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16 October 2018

The Hanging Gardens of the Future

Green roofs can provide storm water retention, urban wildlife habitat provision, better insulation and decrease the urban heat island effect, among other benefits. (Credit: pixabay.com)

Not only are green roofs not a new thing in humankind’s history, but they represent one of the critical solutions for our present and future environmental struggles.

 

Remember the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? A mystery of ancient times that symbolize a deeply rooted yearn to connect with nature even in the most crowded places, such as cities or terraces. Is it just a myth? The idea of lush vegetation and trees on the terraces of a palace might sound dreamlike, indeed. Yet, there is living proof of this green practice throughout history and today they are simply called green roofs or vertical gardens.

While no doubt aesthetically appealing, their benefits are manifold. Green roofs can provide storm water retention, urban wildlife habitat provision, better insulation and decrease the urban heat island effect, among several others. In Faroe Islands, for instance, people have traditionally used green roofs as an adaptive measure to the humid climate in the island. On the other hand, for the past 40 years Germany has been one of the leading countries in Europe on promoting green roofs through incentives and urban planning guidelines (Germany considers them to be under the umbrella concepts of green infrastructure, nature-based solutions and urban forestry).

Following this necessary trend of Green Infrastructure, CEEweb is an active actor in the field. We are currently working in the projects TRANSGREEN and ConnectGREEN, funded by the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme, while last year we organised the 2nd European Urban Green Infrastructure Conference – EUGIC 2017 Budapest. Celebrating nature-based solutions for cities.

If the topic has raised your interest, the World Forum on Urban Forests will be held in Italy from 28 November to 1 December 2018. The event will serve as a platform to envision how “the Hanging Gardens of the Future” shall or could look like. And if you want to see beyond what this trend and the forum are about, check the video below.