January 28, 2015

How roof gardens or sky parks are helping in cooling cities

Planting roof gardens on tops of building is a great way to make city more efficient.

Rooftop gardens are most effective when constructed on the flat roof styles common to many city commercial, institutional, or industrial buildings.

The planters on a roof garden may be designed for a variety of functions and vary greatly in depth to satisfy aesthetic and recreational purposes. 

There are purposes and objectives of having Rooftop Gardens, such as leisure and relaxation, beautifying the environment, and greenery and nature.

-- Rooftop gardens have the potential to be used as a strategy to relieve storm water peak

-- Roof garden can prevent flooding during intense rain events by absorbing rain water

-- Green roofs have been proven to increase roof durability, longevity, and save on energy costs,

-- Rooftop gardens offer a multi-faceted solution to improve the health of cities.

-- There are potential of plants to put in roof top to filter out air pollutants.

-- Rooftop gardens are effective way of addressing climate change and reducing global warming

-- Rooftop gardens are known to dampen the heat island effect, or warm regions usually caused by urbanization.

Planting on roof tops can make urban living more self-sufficient and more accessible to urban people.

Roof gardens have been around for centuries, but still a fairly new concept in the Philippines. Apart from their aesthetic qualities, these gardens have been proven to reduce temperature around the area where they are built, providing a cooler sanctuary in the midst of sweltering urban jungles.

Another little-known concept is urban heat island, an area significantly warmer than its surroundings. A highly urbanized city is a perfect candidate to be an urban heat island. Apart from the discomfort caused by high temperature in these areas, they cause several other problems such as high power consumption, health problems, and water quality loss.

The vegetation provided by roof gardens help counter these degenerative effects.

In the country, SM is helping bring the benefits of roof gardens to the public through its Sky parks. First introduced in SM North Edsa, SM’s sky parks let customers experience the relaxing ambience of an oasis atop the mall and away from the busy thoroughfares of the city.

The Skygarden is a long, elevated curvilinear park, which offers much needed green space, not only for the mall, but also for the city as a whole. It buffers the mall from the busy EDSA intersection, and serves as a living, organic link between the different components of the mall – The Block, The City Center, and The Annex.

Lifted from the road like a floating green ribbon, this elevated garden softens the hard urban environment with lush land and waterscapes, while its organic form complements the new wavy cladding of the mall.

Canopied walkways meander amidst undulating lawns, ponds, and trees, while tunnels of shops are sculpted out of the earth, giving visitors a new dimension to the traditional park experience.

This Roof Garden has about 55 species of plants, grass, and trees that grow on a special type of garden soil that offers a lightweight effect on the structure. A truly green garden, it has a special type of drainage system that allows it to conserve water.

The Sky Garden’s water features include two bubblers, a simulated river flowing at the center, andwaterfalls at the edge of the second floor, which act as a monumental screen onto which promotional montages can be projected, giving the park an added presence at the street level.

The Skygarden’s Sky Dome has become a premiere entertainment destination in the North Metro area.

A roof garden is a building rooftop covered with vegetation, first introduced by SM Prime Holdings Inc. in the Philippines through its 400-meter Sky Garden atop a portion of SM City North Edsa.

“Roof gardens originated from Germany way back in the 1970s,” Weng said. “Asia, by and large, is still very much in the infant stage.” However, his home country, Singapore, is already aiming for an increase in skyrise greenery, with an additional 150 hectares, or 80 percent of the country’s rooftops, by 2030.

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