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Green Roof Policy

Articles: Green Roof Policy

There is more to green roofs than meets the eye. Like terrestrial gardens, green roofs come in all shapes  and sizes, with myriad designs and methodologies depending on their intended purpose. It’s time to look deeper into tapping their potential to create greener and more livable cities.

A conversation between Editor Lorene Edwards Forkner and Kay Cheng, Urban Designer/Planner, City and County of San Francisco
Touring the Drew School green roof in San Francisco. Photo: Kay Cheng, SF Planning Department

LEF: What are your thoughts on developing a green roof policy for San Francisco?

KC: I’ve recently realized the potential for green roofs to work for a variety of building types and at different scales to achieve a multitude of benefits. An important lesson I learned on the Swiss tour is that green roofs don’t have to be complicated or require highly technical systems. (For more on this topic see page 28.) I’d like to see a series of local pilot projects and a robust research effort lead the way to regulation similar to Zurich where all flat roofs are green roofs.

LEF: From a municipal perspective, ...

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