Urban Tree Tops
The increasing shortage of space in the city is but one of the obstacles facing the effort to make our cities a greener place to live. Urban Tree Tops is a concept in which the positive effects of urban green through using “currently unused” flat roof spaces can be achieved. A clever integration of trees and plants in the city, making use of the opportunities provided by rooftops.
The most important functions and advantages of the concept are:
- Reduction of pressure on the city’s drainage system by capturing and storing rainwater on the rooftop for reuse by plants;
- Reduction of the heat island effect in the city through evapotranspiration of water by plants and the reflection of sunlight. Research has shown that the temperature on a green roof during the summer months is, on average, 30 degrees Celsius lower than that on a standard black roof;
- Cleaner air due to the filtering effect of leaves and needles;
- Energy savings through passive insulation of the roof during the summer months;
- Generation of energy through the optional integration of solar panels;
- Increased opportunities for biodiversity (for more information see EHS3).
You can watch a clip explaining some of these functions here: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfhskfx8ybM&feature=related).
The Urban Tree Tops project offers an alternative view on some very important issues facing an increasingly congested city (Chief Government Architect, 2008);
- The multifunctional layered city
- Retention and reuse of rainwater
- Increasing green area and canopy cover
- Increase In human well-being
- Cleaner air, contributing to better human health in the city.
The Urban Tree Tops project is an innovative way of increasing the amount of urban green space, which is of significant benefit to the city, its inhabitants and to the natural surroundings.