Greening roofs and walls

We are working to promote living roofs and walls across London – they're not only good for the environment but also improve our quality of life. As London continues to grow, with more people living closer together, vegetated roofs and walls, roof terraces and roof gardens can all play a key part in improving the environment and quality of life in our city.

Photo courtesy of British Land

Living roofs play an important role in helping to achieve the Mayor’s target to increase green cover in central London by 5% by 2030. They can improve our city’s resilience to the impacts of climate change by reducing the amount and speed of storm water run-off and helping to keep buildings, and the surrounding areas, cooler during increasingly frequent hot spells. They also provide much needed outdoor living space, improving life for both residents and adding to the beauty of the local neighbourhood.

Consequently, the Mayor wants to see more green roofs and walls installed both through new development proposals, and through the retrofit of existing buildings, to deliver as many of the following objectives as possible:

  1. Adaptation to climate change, including sustainable urban drainage;
  2. Mitigation of climate change (i.e. aiding energy efficiency);
  3. Enhancement of biodiversity;
  4. Accessible roof space for recreation and food growing;
  5. Improvements to appearance and resilience of the building.

The Greater London Authority has produced guidance on Living Roofs and Walls.

Transport for London have installed green roofs at St James’s tube station and West Ham bus garage and a green wall at Edgware Road tube station. To help those who are thinking of installing a green wall, TfL have summarised their experiences in Delivering Vertical Greening.

Why not create your own green roof? Take a look at this green roof DIY Guide.

Other useful external links

Photo courtesy of British Land