The capital is famous for its green spaces, with Regent’s and Hyde Parks regarded as quintessential verdant features of the city. However, in the last few years there’s been a boom in planting on high-rise buildings, and now London has 371 acres of rooftop garden space. That’s bigger than Hyde Park – and beats vertigo-defying veterans Tokyo and Singapore, according to the European Federation of Green Roof and Wall Associations (EFB).
The trend has been driven by architects, planners and developers who are looking to the skies to provide open space and help combat that old nemesis climate change. Developers using roof gardens as a marketing tool is on the rise with, for example, new-builds at Islington Square and the aptly named Battersea Roof Gardens benefiting. The latter boasts a 1,200-foot-long roof garden designed by James Corner, the landscaper behind New York’s linear park, the High Line.
Dusty Gedge, president of the EFB, says: ‘While there is a degree of evidence that green roofs can remove particulates associated with air pollution, it’s the space they provide for people that is more important. Buildings make up the majority of a city’s footprint.’ He adds: ‘These buildings should be the perfect platform for parks, gardens and unofficial nature reserves. In this way, people and wildlife have access to greenery. And where there is greenery, the air is likely to be fresher.’
Looks like London is on its way to living the green dream.
Keen for more leafy rooftops? Check out this guide here.