Urban Density, Meteorology, and Rooftops


In recent years, there has been a recognition in Australia and elsewhere of the many favourable aspects of denser urban development, and a corresponding move towards promoting it in urban plans such as Melbourne 2030. In a paper by Carol Skinner, published in  Urban Research and Policy  in September 2006, the many appealing aspects of denser cities are summarised.

Some of the negative impacts of dense urban development on the climate and hydrology of a city are set out and examples of these are provided. Strategies to minimise these adverse effects are proposed, including the widespread use of rooftop gardens.

The paper concludes that widespread use of roof gardens could enable us to enjoy the many benefits of denser cities while minimising their drawbacks. Rooftop greening offers us a strategy both to mitigate global warming (through reduction of energy use for indoor temperature control) and to adapt to the degree of warming which is now unavoidable (by minimising temperature increases due to urbanisation). The author notes that more work needs to be done to quantify the benefits of roof gardens in Australian social and climatic conditions and to make information about roof garden installation and performance readily accessible.

For information on how to obtain to a copy of the paper, please click here. Titled Urban Density, Meteorology and Rooftops (by Carol J. Skinner, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia), the paper was published in Volume 24, No. 3, September 2006.


About Urban Research and Policy

Urban Policy and Research is an international journal dedicated to the publication of refereed articles in English in the field of urban studies and urban policy in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region. The scope of the journal is international in two senses: it presents to a worldwide readership a view of the urban policies of particular countries, and it encourages dialogue among researchers, policy makers and practitioners in the region.

Urban Policy and Research seeks to develop better links between theoretical and empirical research, and practice. It seeks to stimulate informed debate about urban issues by publishing material from a wide range of theoretical and research approaches.

While specialising in Australian and New Zealand urban policy, Urban Policy and Research also seeks to provide a global audience with an English language publication for the Asia Pacific region, and to encourage an outward looking perspective among scholars and practitioners.


Posted August 2007