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European cities turn rooftops into community and sustainability hubs
Innovation July 15, 2022

In cities, bare roofs made of dark-grey concrete absorb and retain heat, contributing to the “urban heat island” effect. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to utilize the thousands of unoccupied urban rooftops, from art venues to rainwater catchments to solar farms, to absorb heat and help buildings stay cool.

Now, the flat, gray rooftops of Europe are being transformed into vibrant community centers by intrepid artists, planners, and architects.

With the European Creative Rooftop Network, various organizations in European cities like Barcelona and Antwerp can ‘aim high’ with sustainable living labs and cultural hotspots.

In Rotterdam, building owners are encouraged to green their rooftops to improve water collection, or “yellow” their roofs by installing solar panels to collect sunlight. The Dutch city’s roof conversion is as much about keeping the city above water as it is about collecting water, as 90% of the city is below sea level. In 2008, Rotterdam became the first city to offer subsidies to building owners who constructed green roofs.

The ERCN’s “Rooftopedia” contains all of these revamped rooftops, for those curious about where to visit them.

Learn more @ European Creative Rooftop Network


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