Potentials and prospects for the expansion of green areas on buildings in the metropolitan area of Athens

G. Varras, K. Chiotelli, V. Fragaki, G. Karras, G. Tsantopoulos
While lack of green spaces is a major problem for many large cities in urban areas, there is little possibility to develop new green areas, mainly due to limited public space. Therefore, a promising solution is to get advantage of the available for greening surfaces offered by the existing buildings. The construction of a green roof or a green wall/facade is already broadly adopted solutions in most cities of developed countries. These vegetated constructions can contribute to the mitigation of significant urban environmental problems such as the heat island effect, flood and loss of wildlife habitats. This research aimed to examine both the potential of the buildings and the citizens' perspectives regarding issues related to green structures on buildings. The survey was conducted at the Central and Western sectors of Athens/Greece, which accommodate more than 1.5 million citizens, almost one third of the total population of the metropolis. Data from 800 questionnaires were collected using a structured questionnaire from December 2012 until April 2013. The results show that most citizens that participated would enjoy spending several hours per week in an appropriately designed green area as close as possible to their home. Almost 50% of the population is willing to construct a green roof or grow plants in pots but the relevant cost is a deterrent. Funding support of the state in order to proceed to green roof infrastructure seems the only alternative if there is a strategic decision to apply this alternative for augmenting green space per capita.
Varras, G., Chiotelli, K., Fragaki, V., Karras, G. and Tsantopoulos, G. (2016). Potentials and prospects for the expansion of green areas on buildings in the metropolitan area of Athens. Acta Hortic. 1108, 331-338
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1108.44
green roofs, energy conservation, urban regeneration, sustainable landscape

Acta Horticulturae