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Green Roofs and Greece - What Athens Should Be Famous For in the Next 20 Years

Now this is what I really want to see on my roof in Athens! Ever take a look at the city from the air? It looks like a sea of marble roofs, even though, I know, it's cement.

The point is that all that reflected light produces a lot of energy, and by energy I mean heat. and lots of it.

SO.... what about a little greenery on the roofs?

a) it reduces run-off, so there would be a lot less stress on the drainage (or rather lack there of) in the city after a heavy rainfall, which if you havebeen paying attention, Greece is expected to have a lot less of in the coming years.

b) it's not that hard to take care of, unless you want a fancy one, which is just fine

c) i just miss mowing the lawn on the weekends

oh and the fact that it's supposed to be EXTREMELY hot this summer, and the next...50 or so summers in the future. So what would a green roof have to do with heat? Well consider the wonderful picture of your typical heat island, a pocket of nastiness where urban populations live, due to activity, pollution, and a lot of reflective surfaces and what not.

Notice the green where the cooler temperatures are, and the lack of green where the hotter temperatures are? Exactly.

I'd say preparing for it now might be a good idea, and a profitable one at that: (imagine that, making profit instead of paying fines!)

As PR Newswire tells-

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the North American green roof industry association is pleased to announce the results from its Second Annual Industry Survey of Corporate members' completed green roof projects in 2006. The Survey indicates a growth rate of more than 25% over 2005, representing more than 3 million square feet installed in 2006. For intensive green roofs that typically incorporate larger plants, the growth rate was 110% in 2006.

"The green roof industry is growing rapidly in response to the pressing need for cleaner air, better storm water management, improved energy efficiency and more usable green space in our communities," said Steven Peck, Founder and President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. "Green roofs have really captured many people's attention as a beautiful way to help fight climate change and save money. Green roofs deliver more public and private benefits than any other green building technology, so we anticipate that strong growth will continue into the future," he added.

The City of Chicago, which has policies in place to support green roofs and urban greening, implemented the most square feet of green roofs in 2006 of any city, followed closely by Washington, D.C. "My goal is to make Chicago the greenest, most environmentally friendly city in the nation and we are leading by example in our green roof development," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "With over one million square feet of green roofs completed in Chicago and another 2 million in development, our city has truly embraced this practice as a way to help conserve Chicago for future generations."

So why not catapult Athens and Greece ahead of the pack in Europe? Let's say 75% of the city rooftops greened by 2015.