EcoCities: Green roofs and walls as a source for ecosystem services in future cities (Research)
Green roofs and walls are considered to be important suppliers of ecosystem services and contribute to a healthier and more biodiverse environment. However, this has never been investigated in a comparative and integrated way for different types of green walls and roofs, which hampers an optimal implementation of these systems. In the framework of the EcoCities project we will perform exactly such an integrated and comparative study. The essence of the scientific objectives of EcoCities is (1) an in-depth assessment of the contribution of different types of green roofs and to the most relevant urban ecosystem services and (2) an integrated valuation of the provided ecosystem services. Urban ecosystem services under investigation are biodiversity, air and water purification, nutrient recycling, C-sequestration, and climate extreme (water and heat) regulation. Given the paramount importance of both below- as well as aboveground biodiversity by its contribution to ecosystem services, the correct assessment of this biodiversity and its function in providing different ecosystem services constitutes the thread throughout the project. Another important and highly unique aspect of the project is the overall economic valuation of each type of green system, taking into account all the costs and the (monetary) benefits of the ecosystem services provided, in relation to the scale at which they are applied (single building, neighborhood, community). EcoCities will develop (1) a catalogue and (2) a scenario assessment tool with online visualization that both can be consulted to assess the public (ecosystem services) and private benefits/costs of a broad range of different green roofs and walls. These products generated by EcoCities can be applied in policy, green roof and wall industry, education and dissemination activities leading to a significantly increased green roof and wall implementation in already existing as well as in new buildings. Eventually, these new green infrastructures will contribute to the ultimate aim of EcoCities: a more sustainable and healthy development of urban areas.
Period of project
01 January 2018 - 31 December 2021