With international focus on sustainable development, interest in the role of open space in the urban environment has increased in recent decades (Gehl and Gemzoe, 2001; Hollis and Fulton, 2002). Policies for creating and preserving open space are increasingly implemented at a…
By 1996, one in ten flat roofs in German cities was greened while 70% of flat roofed inner city buildings in Swiss cities are reported to have roof gardens (Peck et al., 1999). In Asia, roof gardens are assiduously promoted in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. In Singapore, rooftop greening has gained the support of the government who will take the lead in implementing skydeck greenery in public housing estates and public buildings. The Tokyo government has passed a decree in April 2000 requiring all new buildings with a floor area of 1000m2 or larger to plant trees (namely, conifers and cedars) on rooftops (Environment Preservation Bureau Tokyo Metropolitan City, 1999).
Much has been said elsewhere about open space contributions to urban quality of life. Research across different disciplines has shown that greenery directly benefits the urban environment and Researchers have drawn attention to the human benefits. In particular, the work of Ulrich (1984) is widely cited as illustrating the restorative health benefits that window view greenery can have on patient recovery. In Knopf’s (1987) analysis, there are four broad dimensions on how greenery affects urban living: nature as restorer, as competence builder, as symbol and as diversion. What is of interest to us, however, is the familiar argument which states that trees and vegetation may improve urban climate by reducing carbon dioxide and cooling the heat island (Dwyer et al., 1992). Green roofs constitute an area where photosynthesis would occur signifying that it consumes carbon. Hence, in large numbers, green roofs have the capacity to reduce carbon-based air pollutants and consequently help in carbon management.
While research on carbon management of urban parks exists, much less attention is being paid to the small-scale green areas that are close to where people live and work. This paper takes a closer look at one such area, the ...
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