Urban Fold

Chicago, Capital of Green Roofs?

Chicago City Hall boasts one of the world's most famous green roofs. As a result, the city has a reputation for being the capital of green roofs. But as architecture critic Blair Kamin notes from a bird's eye view, that's not exactly the case.

Kamin went to the observation deck of the Willis Tower, Chicago's tallest building.

"What I saw instead was this: About 10 green roofs, including a test model on the Tower's 90th floor. It's tied down with steel ropes to keep Chicago's howling winds from blowing it to the sidewalk.

That view is revealing: Ten years after Mayor Richard Daley had a lush, green roof planted atop City Hall, Chicago is North America's undisputed leader in covering roofs with vegetation. Yet the green roof movement in Chicago remains in its infancy, not only in numbers but in design quality."

However, the city's Department of the Environment says that there are about 500 green roofs either installed or in the development process right now.

Full Story: Ten years of green roofs in Chicago: Mayor Daley's green thumb and iron fist have produced impressive gains, but the movement remains in its infancy

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