Rooftop Revolution originally published in Dutch by Greater Venues and translated here into English.
In the Netherlands there are 400 square kilometres of flat roof: some 60,000 football pitches of untapped territory. But if it is up to Rooftop Revolution , this territory will be the nature reserves of the future. There vision is where all roofs will be green and sustainable. On Sustainable Tuesday, the organisation won the VHG Groenprijs for the most innovative idea to make the Netherlands more sustainable.
Jan Henk Tigelaar from Rooftop Revolution shares his ideas on how we can make location land greener!
What does Rooftop Revolution actually do?
“Rooftop Revolution is laying down new nature reserves in the middle of Dutch cities. True? We advise companies on how to get started with the sustainability of roofs, support governments in their climate change ambition and help ‘homeless people’ to improve their view. We are also looking at the financing of green roofs, because we believe that the costs and benefits of green roofs can be distributed more fairly between the people who benefit from them. In this way, together with residents, owners, companies, governments and nature organisations we can realise our dream: that no roof remains unused! ”
What can a green roof contribute to an event location?
“Green event locations offer a place where people like to stay and come back. Green enhances the environment, increases the attractiveness and creates a pleasant and quiet meeting place. It has been proven that green works to relieve stress and makes you feel healthier. Green roofs do that too. They are a perfect place to relax on weekends or after a day of work. Moreover, on a green roof one can often enjoy beautiful views, high above the bustle of the city. In addition, you can plant all kinds of herbs and edible greens on a green roof, such as thyme, rosemary and mint. This allows you to provide your event with fresh herbal cocktails and tea directly from the roof! ”
What do you think are the most extraordinary examples of green roofs at event venues and other publicly accessible buildings?
“Our number 1 is De Dakakker in Rotterdam: the largest edible roof in Europe, with a snack bar where the fresh harvest is used immediately. In addition, the roof is also water-storing and provided with a hive. 2 is Zoku Hotel in Amsterdam. The accessible green roof combines recreation (hammocks), biodiversity preservation (bee hotels) and an own harvest of fresh herbs. Through the greenhouse on the roof you also have the feeling that you are outside. And on 3 Brooklyn Grange is in New York. That is the world’s largest roofer, producing more than 22,000 kilos of organic products per year. In addition, they maintain around 30 honey bee cabinets on the roof and organize all kinds of educational and recreational events. Size does matter ! ”
What does the ideal green roof look like?
“The ideal green roof combines various functions and therefore has a great added value. The ideal roof is water-repellent, supports biodiversity with intensive, varied planting with many colorful flowering varieties, offers space and habitat to honey bees, is regularly used for recreational, educational and sporting events – think of yoga and meditation sessions, and is organized as so-called ‘ roofer ‘for fresh herbs and vegetables. The maintenance of the green, the beehives and the roofer can offer employment. That way you really get everything out of your roof