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Weighing The Costs And Benefits Of Rooftop Gardens

An upcoming Los Angeles symposium will focus on greening the city's rooftops and overcoming the high implementation costs that have kept gardens off the roofs of skyscrapers.

Developing new and existing buildings to incorporate rooftop gardens can be expensive, but the benefits are far-reaching, according to Steven Peck, president of Toronto-based Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the host of this week's Los Angeles Green Roof Market Development Symposium.

"'Green roofs turn roofs as hotplates into roofs as air conditioners,' Peck said. 'You get enough of these air conditioners on the rooftops of L.A., you actually bring the temperature of L.A. down, and that improves air quality, reduces energy consumption and makes the place more livable.'"

"Targeted at planners, architects and developers, the June 7 event at the Metropolitan Water District headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles will highlight case studies of local green roof projects, the obstacles to making more of them and ways to drum up investment."

The juniper-topped Theodore Alexander Jr. Science Center School in Exposition Park is one of the only examples of a "green roof" in downtown L.A. A strong proponent green roofs and a featured speaker at the symposium, City Councilman Ed Reyes sees much more potential for rooftop gardens Downtown.

Full Story: The Hidden Green

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