Potential for urban greening with green roofs: A way towards smart cities

M.Y. Joshi, Wissal Selmi, Marc Binard, Gilles-Antoine Nys, Jacques Teller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Cities are experiencing increased pressure on social, economic, and environmental sectors due to the rapid urbanisation and increasing risk owing to climate change affecting the urban environment. Solutions such as green roofs are often discussed in the context of smart and sustainable cities as they present a multi-functional and solution-oriented approach to address these challenges. Green roofs become extremely relevant in the context of highly urbanised and compact cities where impervious surfaces are abundant. Therefore, in this paper, we analyse the potential of green roofs at a city scale with the help of parameters such as area and slope of the roof and structure of the building. We also identify the priority zones based on environmental and socio-economic parameters. The study is carried out in the city of Liege, Belgium. The results suggest that around 20% (350 hectares) of the total buildings in the city have the potential for developing green roofs. Moreover, the potential of green roofs is quite significant in terms of roof area in the priority zone. Due to significant socio-economic deprivation in high priority zones, implementation of green roofs might not be affordable. Buildings with larger roof sizes are mostly owned by companies or commercial establishments, thus, making larger roofs more relevant for retrofitting green roof. Thus, our approach can act as a preliminary decision-making tool for urban planners to analyse the potential of green roofs and prioritize them in deprived areas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


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