Green Roofs

View of buildings in Bangkok business district through extremely orange sunlight

What Is the Urban Heat Island Effect?

Man-made surfaces and urban density contribute to higher temperatures, intensifying heat waves and posing a growing danger to public health.

August 21, 2022 - Diana Ionescu

Green roof in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

How Rotterdam’s Green Rooftops Fight Urban Heat

An elevated park in Rotterdam shows how green roofs can cool cities and create public parks in tight quarters.

June 5, 2022 - Surface Magazine

Green Buildings

Washington, D.C. Leads the Nation in Green Roofs

The nation's capital has more square feet of green roofs than any other city in the country.

July 31, 2018 - Smart Cities Dive

Trees and People

Report Details the Long-Term Financial Benefits of Green Design

This report estimates that U.S. cities could save half a trillion dollars by investing in "smart surface technologies." The study takes into account obvious factors like energy use and less intuitive ones like tourism revenues.

February 20, 2018 - Next City

Denver's November Election Will Answer Big Questions About the Built Environment

The Denver Post gives a preview of some of the big questions facing Denver voters in November.

October 8, 2017 - The Denver Post

France to Require Green Roofs for Commercial Buildings

The French Parliament has approved legislation requiring commercial buildings to partially cover their rooftops in either plants or solar panels.

April 5, 2015 - Architizer

Debate Continues Over Benefits of White Roofs

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently completed an economic analysis of white roofs versus their green and black counterparts. The debate over the relative merits of white versus green roofs is far from over, however.

February 5, 2014 - Inhabitat

A Peek at New York's Fifth Facade

A new book by trained architect-turned photographer/pilot Alex MacLean captures the ironically suburban trappings of New York City's hidden rooftop world. Web Urbanist author Delana pens a review.

May 25, 2012 - Web Urbanist

Green Zoning Advances in New York

Tom Stoelker reports on the progress of New York City's Zone Green initiative, a comprehensive effort to make it easier to construct green buildings and retrofit existing ones, that passed the City Planning Commission unanimously this past week.

March 31, 2012 - The Architect's Newspaper

Growing a Green Roof Movement in America

Metropolis blogger Joseph G. Brin interviews Charlie Miller, P.E., of Roofmeadow, to find out why green roofs have been slow to catch on in the United States.

February 27, 2012 - Metropolis

Developers of "Cool Roof" Buildings May Catch a Break

Industrial building developers, who had previously decried the price tag of green roofs now standard to many buildings in Toronto, may get the OK to construct an alternative, reflective roof instead.

November 9, 2011 - National Post

The Roof as Living Room

Washington, D.C. residents are getting creative with their green roofs, writes Sarah Meehan, from keeping bees on them to hosting league bocce games. Even those without roof access might get lucky and have a view of one that's artfully designed.

October 19, 2011 - The Miami Herald

Recession-Defying Green Roofs

Despite the continued struggles of the U.S. economy, green roofs have proliferated with the market increasing 30% from the previous year.

April 27, 2011 - ASLA's The Dirt blog

Landscape and Architecture Converging

The Architect's Newspaper explores the "fertile new approaches to building" springing from the growing use of landscaping in contemporary architecture.

February 7, 2011 - The Architect's Newspaper

The Best Greens for Your Green Roof

The Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State has indentified five particular species of plant that work well in semi-arid climates for green roofs.

January 21, 2011 - Energy Daily

Green Efforts Have Room to Grow in Chicago

Chicago is trying to position itself as one of the greenest cities in America, but longheld plans to upgrade the city's overburdened stormwater system highlight how far it has to go.

November 12, 2010 - Green Source

Toronto Institutes Green Roofs With City Hall Example

Last year Toronto became the first North American city to mandate green roofs on all new residential, commercial and institutional buildings larger than 21,500 square feet. Now it has created a 118,000 square foot example on top of the City Hall.

October 2, 2010 - Metropolis Magazine

Daley's Success As Chicago's 20-Year Mayor

Neal Pierce argues that retiring Mayor Daley's achievements in Chicago "stand out as beacons for mayors, American and worldwide, to emulate." He attributes some of his success to sheer political skill, but also examines seven effective policy shifts.

September 24, 2010 - Citiwire

Small Farms Growing On Top of New York Schools

Green roofs are growing on the tops of schools in New York City, where small farms are being integrated into the curriculum.

May 20, 2010 - The Architect's Newspaper

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.

April 23, 2010 - Chicago Tribune

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.