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Gardens in the Sky: Today’s Trend as the Vision of Tomorrow

When we think about what the future metropolises will look like, we typically imagine cities with towering skyscrapers, flying cars and high-tech features on every corner. However, based on the current trends, it seems that the future has something different in store for use. Urban architecture is moving in a green direction, setting sustainability and eco-friendliness as its primary goals. Even now, we can see the prime examples of what the future holds – buildings embellished with lush green roofs.

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From an idea to a trend

Considering the rapid rate of urbanisation and growing population, it’s no wonder that we tend to imagine crowded cities with nothing but concrete stretching for miles. However, it seems that architects have another vision for our future, one where stretches of green and thriving vegetation can be found everywhere, including the roofs of the highest skyscrapers.

Green roofs, picturesquely described as gardens in the sky, can be found on top of buildings around the globe. They have gained enormous popularity over the years, inspiring architects to bring their ideas to a greener level. And as we continue to go forward, it seems that gardens in the sky have just started flourishing, providing us with another vision for the future cities, as well.

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So, what exactly is this thriving trend? It’s actually a stunning example of what technology and eco-friendliness bring to the table. Green roofs represent complex technological structures that consist of numerous layers that enable vegetation to grow and thrive up in the sky. Drainage systems, insulation layers, waterproof elements and support structures are just some of the technologies that make up green roofs. Modern technological advancements have even enabled architects to design completely self-sustaining rooftop gardens, also known as extensive green roofs, as compared to intensive ones that require maintenance.

Image source: architecturaldigest.com

Gardens in the sky: more than an embellishment

No one can call into question the aesthetic appeal of gardens in the sky. They certainly make our cities more beautiful, positive and soothing, transforming them from grey centres of overwhelming urbanisation to almost utopian havens.

However, there’s much more to green roofs than their aesthetics. Gardens in the sky can actually provide us with valuable benefits that can bring us one step closer to a healthier and eco-friendlier future. Reduced air pollution and the urban heat island (UHI) effect, effective stormwater management and decreased spreading of dust are just some of the advantages of welcoming nature onto the roofs. Rooftop gardens can also enhance biodiversity since they are home to various plant species.

Even homeowners have recognised the value of green roofs, implementing this trend in their homes, as well. All they need is the help of experienced architects, a green vision and stable portable scaffolding platforms, and they can start turning their vision into reality. Having made their roofs greener, they can reap the benefits that green roofs bring, including increased energy-efficiency and enhanced noise and heat insulation.

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The story behind green roofs

It all started in the land of northern Scandinavia, where the first green roofs appeared. Back in the day, gardens in the sky were, in fact, sod roofs used for the stabilisation of birch barks, watertight roof elements. As time passed by, green roofs, as we know them today, started appearing all around the world. In the 60s, they became a popular solution for environment and energy preservation in Germany. Germany has been and remained one of the leading countries in the implementation of this trend, with approximately 10 percent of all roofs in Germany being gardens in the sky. Switzerland, or to be more precise, the city of Basel is not so far behind, with the largest area of rooftop gardens per capita.

Image source: pinterest.com

By now, you too have probably formed a new vision for the future metropolises. As we can see, urban architecture is becoming greener and greener by the day, so it’s only the matter of time when our urban cities will become natural havens. In fact, it seems that some architects are already planning for the future. In 2014, two towers knowns as Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest, were opened in Milan, hosting 900 trees and more than 2,000 plants. They were built by Stefano Boeri architects, whose next project is to design the prototype of a forest city. And when we take a look at other stunning examples, such as Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, the Pinnacle at Duxton and Marina Bay Sands Skypark, it seems that we’ve already embraced sustainability as the priority of urban architecture.

Gardens in the sky are one of the most beautiful and promising trends that is bound to make our cities greener and our lives healthier.

Author’s Bio: Lana Hawkins is an architecture student and the editor-in-chief on Smooth Decorator.  She enjoys writing about interior decoration and landscaping. Lana is interested in sustainability and green building, and that’s where she gets most of her inspiration.

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