Green Roofs and Rooftop Gardens
Guides for a Greener Planet series
Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) announces the publication of Green Roofs and Rooftop Gardens, the latest in its Guides for a Greener Planet series, This beautifully photographed book details the key roles green roofs play in sustainable cities, with a special emphasis on New York. The compact guide offers a set of diverse case studies—including the 10,000 square foot roof atop BBG’s own new Visitor Center—and provides an overview of the construction and planting process as well as a guide for creating a do-it-yourself rooftop garden. Modern green roof systems prevent water pollution, reduce the urban heat island effect, purify the air, extend roof life, and improve energy efficiency. On a hot summer day, they get only half as hot as a traditional black roof. And during a heavy rainfall, they absorb much of the water that falls on them, preventing runoff from flooding the sewer system. They can also provide habitat for birds and bees and other helpful insects, not to mention much-needed green space for city dwellers.

Green Roofs and Rooftop Gardens provides a detailed look at the green roof movement and tells the stories behind some the most interesting green roofs in New York City. Delightful original photos reveal parklike retreats, windswept prairies, thriving vegetable patches, and buzzing beehives on top of skyscrapers, lofts, schools, and public housing throughout the city.

“Few New Yorkers walking our concrete streets are aware of how many sustainable oases are thriving above their heads,” says Elizabeth Peters, BBG’s director of Digital and Print Media, who visited these roofs and talked to their owners, designers, and builders to learn how they were created. “Over the past decades, New Yorkers have employed innovative green roof strategies to address a number of urban challenges, and in recent years the variety and number of these delightful spaces have truly burgeoned.”

Half the handbook is devoted to profiles of representative roofs, offering models for an array of solutions at all budget levels. In addition, informational chapters written by top experts in the field lay out the basics of modern green roof systems and provide background and valuable advice for readers who want to embark on their own projects.

What’s Inside

• Profiles and photos of a variety of New York City’s green roofs, including a one-acre farm planted on an industrial building in Queens, a green roof high school classroom in the Bronx, and the grass-and-wildflower meadow growing on BBG’s own new Visitor Center.

• A history of the building techniques that evolved into modern green roof methods—from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to Madison Square Garden’s 1910 rooftop theater to the state-of-the-art vegetated roof on Chicago’s City Hall.

• A detailed primer on the design and construction of modern green roof systems. • Expert advice on selection, establishment, and care of plants for different green roof systems.

• Practical guidelines for creating a do-it-yourself rooftop container garden and for bringing a green roof to your apartment building or school. Publication Date: July 1, 2012. Advance copies available now: please email For more information, visit

Green Roofs and Rooftop Gardens (ISBN: 978-1-889538-81-5) is available at a discount from BBG at and in bookstores and garden centers for $12.95 in the U.S./$14.95 in Canada. About Brooklyn Botanic Garden Founded in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is an independent nonprofit institution committed to education, research, and the display of horticulture. Situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn, the Garden is home to over 12,000 kinds of plants and hosts more than 725,000 visitors annually. Learn more at

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Garden is closed on Mondays except public holidays. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens (65 and older) and students with ID. Children under 12, all school groups, and Garden members are admitted free at all times. For directions, please visit

Learn what’s happening at Brooklyn Botanic Garden at, read the Garden’s blog at, and see photos of current highlights at

Author : BBG
ISBN : 978-1-889538-81-5
Publisher : Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Sugg. Retail Price : $12.95
Available in Softcover

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