Turn Cities into Gardens: This is why we should all be covering all our buildings with plants

"Design firm Arup just published a study on the benefits of plant-covered buildings - some of which are so green they look like they've been deserted by humans and are slowly being reclaimed by nature - and they found the benefits go way beyond just sucking up CO2 and looking pretty," wrote David Nield. "The company's engineers took a variety of measurements in five cities to see what impact extra greenery could have."

VIDEO: Mexico City’s Green Plan & Green Roofs

Tanya Müller García presents “Areas Verdes de la Ciudad de Mexico & Azoteas Naturada” – “Mexico City’s Green Plan & Green Roofs” providing a description of the Green Plan in Spanish with English subtitles. An Inventory of Green Areas of Mexico City is provided as well as inclusion for the first time of green roofs in the Cities Green Inventory. Tanya also presents some examples of green roofs in Mexico and future projects.

Green City, Blue Waters: Roofs Going Green in Philadelphia

A green roof is more than just grass on top of a building. It is a rainwater capture and management system. "This should be viewed as a model of how to take a large building in a residential neighborhood, work with the neighbors to get a zoning variance, and then successfully redevelop it," says Leo Addimando.

Low Carbon Auckland: Buildings and Green Infrastructure

The challenge, says Alex Cutler, is to convince developers and home builders that green is the new normal. "With what we know about the principles of designing and building for energy efficiency, and the statistics connecting poor respiratory health with damp, mouldy homes, the building and construction sector possesses a significant opportunity to address the challenge," says Cutler.

Urban Agriculture Blossoms in Ballard, Washington – Greenfire Campus used the Living Building Challenge as its roadmap

"The innovative rainwater management approach strives to create a built condition that mimics nature through the use of features that maintain or restore a site’s natural hydrologic conditions, achieving an effective net zero amount of impervious surfaces. The Earth, just like all forms of life, needs to be able to breathe and take in water in order to maintain or restore its health," writes Mark Buehrer.

Green Roofs in Nanaimo: A Unique Partnership has Precedent-Setting Research Objectives

"Green roofs have an immense potential for offsetting carbon emissions originating from building operations. This type of research had not been attempted before. In fact, we are still at the forefront. Although industries are currently able to calculate their carbon emission rates related to building operations, ways to calculate their carbon offset potentials are limited,” says Dr. David Gaumont-Guay.