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Eye of Riyadh
Environment & Energy | Friday 13 January, 2017 6:17 am |

Building Sustainable Green Infrastructure With Green Walls and Green Roofs

Rapid population growth coupled with people across the world migrating to cities has fueled the growth rate of urban development. With rapid urbanization and diminishing natural landscapes and greenery, the need for managing urban areas and developing sustainable cities is at the core focus of every government.

To offset the environmental and health risks posed by rapid urbanization, there is a need to implement innovative urban greening initiatives that is in line with a city’s requirement. Understanding the potential of these green infrastructure solutions and to compensate for the loss of urban greenery, green facades, green roofs and vertical gardens or more commonly known as green walls have grown in popularity.

The concept of green roofs and vertical gardens is certainly not new with countries such as Singapore, Australia, Germany, France and Canada that have been leading the way in investing in these sustainable solutions. Cost efficiency, energy savings reduced air temperatures, and lower maintenance costs are some of the benefits of installing green roofs and developing green walls.

Mr. Brad Hariharan, Regional Director, Expotrade Middle East, commented, “The need for green spaces has been emphasized enough and more. The advancements in technology have enabled the development of innovative green infrastructure solutions in the region. With technology available at our disposal, we need to strive to mainstream green roofs and green walls within our environment.”

In the Middle East, Dubai has been undertaking measures to propagate the use of green roofs and green walls. In a bid to transform Dubai and as part of the emirate’s 2020 vision, Dubai Municipality has earmarked Dh6 billion to develop 12,000 hectares of greenery through landscaping and horticultural projects. Few years back, Dubai Municipality launched the ‘Green Roofs’ initiative to convert all roofs of buildings and houses into a cultivated space. In fact, the Desert Rose City project that is expected to be completed before Expo 2020, covering 14,000 hectares of land will also use eco-friendly solutions like green roofs. More recently, Dubai Municipality officials unveiled a Green Wall project of 30 metres height at the municipality’s headquarters.

Mr. Hariharan, further added, “Apart from playing an effective role in curbing global warming, the potential aesthetic, economic, environmental, and social benefits of green roofs and vertical gardens for the Middle East region are known to all. The importance of sustainable landscape architecture practices and the practical challenges in developing and implementing green roofs and vertical landscapes for the Middle East region, and more specifically in Dubai will be explored at length at the Middle East Smart Landscape Summit.”

The Summit that will be held on 15th and 16th May at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa will include topics focusing on sustainable living walls and green roofs. More information on the 5th Annual Middle East Smart Landscape Summit is available now at http://www.landscapesummit.com. Follow the Summit on social media with the hashtag #MESLS2017.

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