Bronx, NY, USA
CLIENT The South Bronx Green Roof Community Outreach Project / STATUS Completed 2004 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Sustainable South Bronx, Columbia UniversitySchool of Public Health
The initiative is a collaboration among Sustainable South Bronx, the Columbia University Mallman School of Public Health, Cool City Project and Balmori Associates. Key goals are to create a network of living roofs in the South Bronx, monitor and document the benefits, and promote the use of living roofs throughout the South Bronx and the rest of the city.
The South Bronx is an ideal candidate for a network of living roofs. There is a dearth parkland and it has an extremely disproportionate amount of environmental burdens including than two dozen transfer stations, a sewage treatment plant and a sewage sludge pelletizing plan that plagues the area with odors and debris. Many of its citizens are especially vulnerable to the stresses of the urban heat island effect which can be severe in neighborhoods where the line population is elderly and lives in non-air conditioned apartments, surrounded by vast amounts of tree-less impervious surfaces.
In the urban context, the landscape is an active, living agent capable of changing local and regional conditions. A network of living roofs is a powerful new type of landscape which will play a significant role in reducing the city’s “heat island” effect: retaining and reusing storm run-off; and establishing many small, personally pleasurable oases in a landscape dominated by hot, tamed surfaces.