It is worth having a garden over the head

logo ogrod_nad_glowaBeginning from May 2012 the Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités”, in cooperation with the Polish Association “Green Roofs” from Wrocław and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (Switzerland), is implementing a two-year project entitled “A garden over your head – Swiss green roofs and living walls as a model and inspiration for innovative activities of Polish self-governments in the field of energy conservation and climate protection”.

Rafael Schnider-_Dachorchideen_Kantonsspital_St._Gallen
Hospital in St. Gallen.
Author: Rafael Schneider

The aim of project activities is to transfer to Polish municipalities Swiss know-how for improving energy efficiency of buildings through setting up gardens on roofs and walls in the framework of local sustainable energy strategy. The project refers to the trends of modernist architecture of XXth century initiated by world-famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier, that is to the concept of gardens grown on rooftops in order to compensate for the loss of green space taken by the building.

Directly involved in the project will be representatives of 12 Polish municipalities – members of the Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités”, as well as approximately 1200 representatives of local communities. Indirectly, the project will bring benefits to all Polish municipalities that will be addressed in the framework of information campaign conducted in media and on Internet portals.

SBFotovoltaik kombiniert_mit_Begrnung_Breitehotel_Basel
Breitehotel, Bazylea
autor: Stephan Brenneisen

The information/promotion campaign already started. Soon there will be published a brochure presenting 10 best Swiss and Polish practices in the field of growing gardens on rooftops and walls. At the beginning of next year there will be also published a guidebook for municipalities describing the background and status of implementation of “green roofs” and “living walls” in Switzerland and Poland, as well as Swiss best practices in this area. This guidebook will be a compendium of knowledge on designing and maintaining gardens on rooftops and walls and on their role in municipal strategy for mitigation and adapting to climate change.

SB LLB_photos64-zdjcia_od_Stephan_Brenneisen
Breitehotel, Basel
Author: Stephan Brenneisen

As a result of study tour to Switzerland – a country of green roofs and walls, as well as the workshops, conferences, Green Roofs’ Days and consultations with Swiss and Polish experts, project participants will learn about the achievements of Basel, where approximately 25% of the roof surface is covered with flora, and Zurich, whose roof gardens of orchids and underground settlements delight the ecologists. Moreover, they will learn how to implement similar initiatives in their own municipalities.

Numerous economic and ecological benefits resulting from participation in the project include in the first place increasing social participation and integration of local communities through common setting up of gardens on rooftops and walls of residential buildings, public buildings (schools, hospitals, city halls), garages, parking lots etc.

“Green roofs” and “living walls” not only contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to increasing energy efficiency of buildings, but also serve the purpose of improving the retention of rainwater which results in reducing energy consumption of sewage systems and reducing floods. Moreover, implementation of such investments will allow to mitigate the effect of “heat islands” which is the result of heat emissions from cars, buildings, road surfaces etc. Also important is education about the meaning and the methods of reconstruction of green spaces taken by the buildings, creation of resting places, reconstruction of ecosystems (birds, plants, insects), as well as social demand for the environmentally friendly architecture.

The project is co-financed by Switzerland under the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme.

More information soon will be published at: www.ogrodnadglowa.pl

Zielony Dach_na_Bibliotece_Uniwersytetu_Warszawskiego_Andrzej_Kania
Garden at the roof
of the University of Warsaw Library ,
author: Andrzej Kania
Zielony Dach_na_Bibliotece_Uniwersytetu_Warszawskiego_Ewa_Water
Garden at the roof
of the University of Warsaw Library ,
author: Ewa Walter


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