Essay on The Impact of Rooftop Gardens in Urban Areas

Essay on The Impact of Rooftop Gardens in Urban Areas

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What are the impacts, positive or negative, of rooftop gardens in urban areas and should they be instigated?

The investigation is being instigated in order to determine the true impacts of rooftop gardens on surrounding or involved communities as well as the environment itself. Through this investigation, the effectiveness of rooftop gardens, its costs and benefits and its sustainability (short or long term) will be assessed.

A rooftop garden is any garden established on the roof of a building. These gardens are visually attractive as well as means of controlling overall heat absorption, a means of providing food (if a vegetable garden), architectural enhancement and recreational opportunities. The cultivation of food in these gardens is known as ‘rooftop farming’.

Green spaces in cities are being used as methods to improve the quality of life of residents – they have been implemented to serve as an area of relaxation and to make an urban expanse more aesthetically pleasing. On a smaller scale, the possibility for rooftop agriculture is becoming more popular all over the world and it could pose as a potential source of food for urban communities. More vegetation can lead to an increase in biodiversity as well as allowing ecosystems to flourish where they were previously removed or destroyed to make room for concrete jungles.

There are many monuments in ancient history that involve rooftop gardens and the operation of these gardens, for example, the medieval Egyptian city of Fustat which had many high-rise buildings with rooftop gardens on top of them, along with ox-driven water wheels for irrigation. Urban rooftop gardening is being practiced, with regards to South Africa, in the city of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria an...


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...ources.” – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 2009.

Limitations & Improvements

Limitations faced within this investigation was the inability to ascertain proper figures or raw data of the real differences rooftop gardens make with regards to temperature regulation and reduction, and energy costs . Thus the evidence and conclusion are based more on social impacts and general impacts of rooftop gardens that have been recorded from all around the world.

Possible improvements for the investigation could be to explore the versatility of green spaces such as vertical greenery (green walls) or urban parks such as the Green Point Park in Cape Town for example. To include primary research via a questionnaire involving communities whilst gaining their personal input could benefit the investigation as well as prove or disprove the hypothesis from a different perspective.


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