Discover Research Paper Final Draft

Discover Research Paper Final Draft - Stephanie Baggio

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Stephanie Baggio Baggio baggioslb@sbcglobal.net October 27, 2010 Fiddler on the Roof: New Green Traditions While the development and density in Chicago and other urban areas continue to grow exponentially each day, new local measures and environmentally friendly or sustainable urban farming methods are available to city dwellers. Opportunities in sustaining Chicago stem from green roof gardens and rooftop gardens. As cities expand, green roofs represent an innovative way to preserve green space, lessen the “carbon footprint” by reducing fossil fuel consumption for heating and cooling, and help filter and purify the air, in addition to becoming a viable and fresh food source for local grocers and area restaurants. Green roofs are a practical solution without altering land use or compromising development (Cheney, Hoffman, and McDonough). Big or small, roofs present terrific opportunities for both the urban farmer and garden enthusiast. Although green roof gardens and rooftop gardens are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. “Green roof” gardens or farms are constructed to utilize an entire roof to provide the most economical and efficient means possible in maximizing the benefits in an urban setting. Rooftop gardens are similar to a green roof garden in that it is located on the roof and consists of growing floral vegetation, however, on a much smaller scale. This type of garden is considered to be more of a recreational space and implies frequent access by people as an outdoor living space, focusing more on unifying residents with nature and resembling a backyard lounge area (“Chicago Specialty Gardens). Thus, rooftop gardens generally provide more aesthetically pleasing qualities and somewhat lesser environmental and energy benefits in comparison to green roof farms, which grow more produce (Pilloton). There are two types of green roof systems that can be utilized to obtain all or some of the benefits. Extensive green roofs have vegetated roofs that comprise less than six inches of mostly
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Bibliography inorganic compost or soil. Intensive green roofs are much deeper with more organic growing medium and require more intensive labor (“Chicago’s Green Rooftops”). Green roofs are not only environmental friendly and sustainable, but also aesthetically beautiful. Dark, black tar roofs are an eyesore, therefore, green roof gardens increase property and real estate value. Another added benefit is that the roofs require less maintenance and replacement (Pilloton). Naturally, being in a highly populated and dense urban area, we face several environmental challenges which urban farming can minimize or alleviate. Urban areas tend to have a decrease in water and air quality, an overflow of storm water runoff which stresses the sewer systems and causes flooding during heavy rains, and the dreaded urban heat island effect (Snograss and Snodgrass). Gardens on the roof, or “vertical farms”, increase oxygen output through absorbing the
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Discover Research Paper Final Draft - Stephanie Baggio

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