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The role of green roof technology in urban agriculture

  • Leigh J. Whittinghill (a1) and D. Bradley Rowe (a2)


Urban agriculture is a global and growing pursuit that can contribute to economic development, job creation, food security and community building. It can, however, be limited by competition for space with other forms of urban development, a lack of formalized land use rights and health hazards related to food contamination. The use of green roof technology in urban agriculture has the potential to alleviate some of these problems, without adversely affecting the benefits provided by urban agriculture. It would not only enable the use of land for development and agriculture, but may also facilitate the formation of formal space and water use agreements, and enable redistribution of ground-level resources among urban farmers. This could decrease the use of contaminated land and water at ground level and alleviate health concerns. Before green roof technology can be incorporated into urban agriculture on a larger scale, installation costs must be reduced, roof weight limitations should be assessed, and appropriate management practices should be developed which will ensure that the benefits of green roofs, such as energy savings and storm water management, are still provided to urban communities.


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