Mexico: Fighting against Global Warming with Roof Gardens

Epoch Times28. Oktober 2009

Rooftop gardens are appearing on many public buildings. And it isn’t a hippie movement, but a program launched last year to combat global warming.

Mexico City, one of the world’s most polluted capitols, is a smog-choked metropolis. It plans to replace rooftop gas tanks, clothes lines and asphalt with grass and bushes to absorb carbon dioxide.

The city plans to offer tax breaks for those who put gardens on top of their offices and apartment buildings.

The vast majority of buildings and homes in Mexico City have flat roofs, making the city ideal for the initiative.

The city’s mayor has pledged US$5.5 billion over five years to reduce greenhouse gases.

[Martha Delgado, Mexico City’s Environment Minister]:
„What we wish to accomplish with this strategy is to contribute by taking advantage of spaces, which are not properly used in residential and public buildings. We would also like to concentrate on the middle of the city to ease temperatures.“

The manager of „Green 360,“ a company that builds and maintains living walls, says these walls help combat pollution.

[Yael Ehrenberg, Green 360 Manager]:
„One is to increase green areas in urban zones. Another is esthetic, the place becomes more valuable. Another benefit is that we take advantage of barren areas, which would normally be painted.“

A relatively new corporate building in the middle of Mexico City has recently layered soil and grass seed on its roof. On top, gravel paths wind through patches of grass and a small garden. Bushes grow around air vents and piping.

Company workers say keeping the garden lush is worth the effort.

[Miguel Angel Laporta, HSBC Sustainability Director]:
„Those who have to deal with daily stress, especially working in the financial sector, may come up and enjoy nature. It is something that breaks with the routine and is valued.“

Ebrard has encouraged cycling by providing bicycle paths and car-free roads on weekends. His program aims to capture gas that bubbles up from overflowing landfills, and calls for a new subway line and more express bus routes.

The city boasted blue skies and ample greenery as recently as the 1960s. But it became clogged by traffic and dirtied by fumes as the population boomed.


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