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Building Green Roofs
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Roofs should be better utilized for the city's greenness and freshness, says an article in the People's Daily Overseas Edition. An excerpt follows:

People wear hats for protection and fashion. Similarly buildings, including residential buildings and office buildings, also need hats "green hats" for environmental protection and a better-looking living environment.

The "green hat" project mentioned here refers to city planners' bid to improve roofs. With "green hats" on buildings, green areas would no longer be confined to the ground.

It has been a world fashion to replace the grayness and sloppiness of building's roofs with greenness and liveliness. In some developed countries, green roofs are everywhere.

In China, the urban environment has been greatly improved in terms of the area and quality of green land. Many cities are also pledging to transform themselves into garden cities. However, most Chinese buildings have "bare heads."

If roofs had not been exposed to direct sunshine last summer, the temperature of many cities in south China would not have been an insufferable 42 to 43 degrees centigrade.

In addition to environmental benefits, green roofs also bring about substantial economic returns.

In south China's Guangdong Province, 100,000 square meters of grass land cost 30 million yuan (US$3.6 million) to develop. Green roofs will give birth to a new economic growth point, providing new technology and products.

Luckily, several leading cities in China have already recognized the advantages of having green roofs, and they are placing these projects on their urban construction agendas.

In Beijing's "Silicon Valley" Zhongguancun, a so-called "Hanging Garden" of more than 6,000 square meters has been built on a building roof.

We believe that more green roofs and more green cities in China will emerge soon.

(China Daily May 19, 2005)


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