Current legislation says that every new building constructed must have a green roof to absorb stormwater in Toronto, Canada.
The City of Toronto website says that in 2009, Toronto was the first city in North America to adopt a bylaw to require and govern the construction of green roofs.
“The Green Roof Bylaw sets out a graduated green roof requirement for new development or additions greater than 2,000 m2 gross floor area. The requirement ranges from 20-60% of the available roof space of a building”.CITY OF TORONTO
Jenny Hill, a forensic scientist, turned civil engineer, has been specializing in designing and testing green roof capacities and ensuring they have the effect they need.
In the University of Toronto Engineering News article about her, Jenny explained that “The planting medium is a key component of a green roof. It influences the performance in relation to stormwater management and the resiliency of the planting.”
Hill is working on advocating floodable landscapes set up in parks and recreational spaces to the public, who she knows can be hard to convince.
Her latest research project aims to develop floodable landscapes for Toronto, as she is looking to international models, such as the Netherlands, for inspiration.
Quoting the University of Toronto Engineering News:
Hill is looking toward the future and realizes that climate change may play a significant role in the future of Toronto’s stormwater management.
She is convinced that all aspects of water infrastructure management – whether green infrastructure or pipes- will need to be harnessed and put together to create a sustainable long-term solution.
There are now more than 700 green roofs in Toronto, and researchers from the University of Toronto plan to use the space to grow food.
Toronto may have spearheaded the green infrastructure in cities, but projects like these are also popping up in urban areas worldwide.
Researchers hope to use the space for urban agriculture to enhance food resilience in the cities. The COVID-19 pandemic has made food resilience in urban areas a must.
Aside from being an effective solution for managing stormwater runoffs to prevent flooding, green roofs can also cool buildings, especially during the summer season, reducing electricity consumption.
Using space to grow food can bring resilience to our food systems.
PHOTO CREDIT: Karl Hipolito
NOTE: Karl’s photo has been cropped to fit the website’s size requirement.