Featured today in The Daily Mail are a series of aerial views of rooftop gardens across Manhattan. From colleges and apartment blocks to hotels and corporate buildings – everyone is getting involved. And it shows that whatever the structure, you can invariably get some kind of green space onto the roof. There may be insufficient space or loading capacity for a fully intensive scheme with trees and planting., but it’s relatively simple to retro-fit a sedum roof or wildflower lawn.
I suppose the High Line set the tone in New York, so maybe we need a high profile elevated park to compete with this to really get the rooftop gardening ball rolling in London. The results from my brief search only brought up one public and free (ie: not attached to a bar, restaurant, etc) roof garden, in Dalston which, whilst a great effort, is a little disappointing as it’s somewhat temporary and mobile being predominantly made up from astroturf and growbags. However as it also serves as a multi-functional venue for open air cinema, yoga sessions, live gigs etc, versatility is paramount for Bootstrap’s Dalston Roof Park.
Green roofs have apparently increased by some 110% in the last year in New York, thanks to the mayor’s initiative – so, come on Boris, lend us landscape architects, garden designers and ecologists a hand and incentivise the UK construction industry a little more.MOMA Roof Garden Photo © Landslides Aerial Photography