Community awareness of green roofs in Sydney

ZEMCH Network
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Community awareness of green roofs in Sydney Conference Proceedings, 2014, pp. 99 - 113
Issue Date:
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There are environmental, economic and social benefits of installing green roofs and walls on city buildings. The environmental benefits are lower building related operational carbon emissions, reductions in the urban heat island, increases in bio-diversity and reductions in storm-water run-off. Economically, the benefits are reduced roof maintenance costs, lower running costs, higher capital and rental values for commercial buildings. Finally the social or community gains are the creation of aesthetically pleasing spaces, landmarksand cultural capital as well as provision of recreational spaces. Furthermore social, psychological and therapeutic gains accrue when the roof or wall is visible to people andis used for social interaction and leisure activities. The perceived drawbacks are perceived greater risk of building leaks, high costs of installation and maintenance, and access and security issues. Whilst the technology to design and install green roofs and walls has existed for hundreds of years the uptake and the demand for green roofs and walls has not been high. Overall, the environmental social and economic gains are not perceived sufficient to create significant demand to set up green roofs and walls. In Sydney Australia, the existing number of green roofs and walls are testimony to this observation. With the aim of addressing the barriers to the uptake of green roofs and walls; it is essential to understand the way in which the key stakeholders; here the community, perceive the technology. With this knowledge it is then feasible to develop an agenda to mitigate any erroneous perceptions that exists. This research reports on a survey with the Sydney community to determine their perceptions of green roofs and walls.
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