As more countries, government bodies and Ministers got involved with World Green Roof Day 2021, the level of skill and variety of solutions showcased on projects throughout the world – in addition to the big announcements about future plans in many cities – highlighted the growing influence and positive future for the green roof sector…
Building on the success of its launch in 2020, the organisers of Word Green Roof Day have announced this year’s event was bigger and better, with even more engagement from new countries, including Argentina, Ghana, Nigeria, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Kuwait, Lithuania and Albania. The event also even welcomed interaction and green roofs from Mumbai and the Faroe Islands!
Using the hashtag #WGRD2021, companies and individuals shared images and videos of green roofs and rooftop gardens from around the globe. Standout interaction included Emporio Armani celebrating funding a green roof on a children’s hospice in the UK, new telephone booths with green roofs being launched in Austria, and an open rooftop tour was hosted in Rotterdam!
In addition to celebrating green roofs, some used this dedicated occasion to officially launch new products and initiatives, including the 2021 Anniversary Edition of the GRO Code in the UK; leading manufacturer Sika launched a brand-new green roof product range; and a new eLearning Green Roof training course from Lantra (UK) was announced.
Future plans, some of them extremely grand and highlighting the scale of potential projects within the green infrastructure sector, were also revealed on the day, with The Netherlands announcing plans to build accessible roof gardens at high altitude, connected by air bridges, by 2025! Announcing this huge project, a statement was released on #WGRD2021 explaining that the organisations ROEF and Rooftop Revolution signed a “green alliance on top of a sustainable roof” with the “roof activists” aiming to “strengthen each other in making even more green meters on our roofs”. Alexander van der Meer, co-founder ROEF explained: “We want to launch bigger initiatives with lasting impact, such as the creation of a roof park. For this we need an activating knowledge partner, and that is Rooftop Revolution.”
Jan Henk Tigelaar, Director of Rooftop Revolution, also touched on the importance of collaboration and “joining hands”, when discussing the huge rooftop park at high altitude project: “ROEF’s experience and network gives us the space to push our boundaries in the field of awareness and activation.”
Further evidence of the impact of #WGRD2021 and the increased focus on greening within cities was highlighted by the news that the global event was endorsed by the Austrian Environment Minister and the Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change; it also received the support of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Further evidence was provided by the news that in the days following the event, the city of Milan, Italy, announced it will map all of its existing green roofs and walls.
Chris Bridgman, of Bridgman & Bridgman, who launched World Green Roof Day alongside Green Infrastructure Professional and Founder of LivingRoofs.org, Dusty Gedge, explained that the increased reach and support of this year’s event was clear evidence of the greater understanding of the important role of green roofs, and the impact they will have on the built environment moving forward: “The wider reach of this year’s World Green Roof Day in terms of global engagement and variety of support far exceeded our expectations. There is growing support and understanding of the green roof sector and this was particularly evident when the Day received endorsement from Environment and Climate Change Ministers, as well as government bodies.”
Chris is also pleased with the way #WGRD2021 has established itself as a key date for those within the industry, and explained that plans are well underway for more live interaction with green roofs – alongside online activity –for #WGRD2022, as Covid restrictions are hopefully relaxed: “Within the sector, World Green Roof Day has become a key focal point for suppliers and related organisations to come together to promote the benefits of green roofs and celebrate exemplar projects.
“We hope to make next year’s event more interactive, with a range of opportunities for people to engage with green roofs – from taking part in rooftop tours, to attending workshops. We’ve been able to cultivate a strong following online and we are confident that we can capitalise on this as economies, and countries, open up again.”