Green Roofs Reduce Negative Impact of Urban Sprawl

Study needs to be replicated on national basis to reap benefits.

A four-year university project on the impact of green roofs has shown that they have an important role to play in rendering our urban areas more sustainable by mitigating urban related issues.

The University of Malta’s LifeMed Green Roof Project looked at green roofs in terms of plant growth, energy efficiency, and flood mitigation properties. Green roofs are classified as green infrastructure, which includes green roofs, gardens, street trees and permeable surfaces, provides multiple benefits, unlike grey infrastructure, which refers to engineered structures and facilities such as roads and culverts which provide very limited benefits.

The project confirmed that green roofs can be effective in reducing localised flooding, and in reducing the use of energy for air conditioning - especially in the hotter months of the year. It also found that they are able to reduce building maintenance especially because they moderate fluctuation in temperature within the structure and provide habitat for beneficial wildlife such as bees.

Apart from the fact that they are also more visually pleasing, they can also provide space for other activities such as for socialising and education.

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