Zoë presented her research into how we can better integrate living roofs as urbanistic systems into our cities in light of urban population growth at the New Zealand Planning Institute conference in Wellington earlier this year. The term ‘Living Roof Urbanism’ is a concept developed to assist living roof design that results in maximised living roof benefits. Living roofs, when designed in a holistic manner can produce multi-functional benefits that significantly improve our urban environment. Living roof design currently does not successfully maximise these potential benefits, nor are they acknowledged widely. Regularly, living roofs are designed for one benefit, for example stormwater attenuation or aesthetics. The resulting effect is a reduction in the perceived benefits and subsequently lower global uptake.
Zoë explained her research to date in looking into a set of guidelines to achieve holistic living roof development enabling maximum benefits. The current toolkits, models, policy incentives and case studies compartmentalise the benefits rather than considering living roofs as part of the landscape and another surface that can enhance our environment achieving a multitude of benefits.
Her presentation explored a design process in which holistic measurable metricise are established and utilised to maximise living roof urbanism.