While there are many amazing projects in sustainability around the world, there’s an innovative new project right under our noses. The city of Chicago started a new project called “green roofs” by mayor Richard Daley in 2001. This initiative was put in place to, “combat the urban heat island effect and to improve urban air quality.” The first tester roof was put into place at the end of 2001, at the cost of $2.5 million dollars, covering an entire block.
While the green roof is incredibly helpful for environmental reasons, it also has become an economical solution to energy problems. So far, the green roof at Chicago’s city hall saves the city $5,000 per year. This helps with utilities and energy consumption.
The garden also brings a large diversity and amount of plants to the urban landscape. “The 20,300 square foot City Hall rooftop garden has over 20,000 herbaceous plants installed as plugs of more than 150 varieties including 100 woody shrubs, 40 vines and 2 trees.” The green roof is visibly accessible to anyone, however the garden is not public.
Since the implementation of the primary green roof, there have been more green roofs created city-wide. The concept has since branched out to other parts of the nation and world.