the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

Heaven’s above

Dusty Gedge, Living Roofs

GiGL is being asked on a regular basis for details of green roof installations, especially by planners who need to demonstrate how they are meeting Mayoral targets on green roofs.This is a relatively difficult thing to provide, as green roof developments are not routinely logged and are not visible to the causal observer or surveyor.

A joint project between GiGL and LivingRoofs.org hopes to map London’s green roofs, creating a new dataset that will be managed by GiGL.

Living Roofs has now agreed with its sponsor green roof members that they will provide annual data on installations they have done. So far we have managed to gather data for the period 2004 –2008. This has been analysed and used as a MSc project by Ben Moat at the Centre for Alternative Technology. Ben worked closely with GiGL and Living Roofs and, although the location of green roofs is often vague, he established that over 420,000m2 of green roofs have been installed in the GLA area during that period.We estimate that this is probably about 80% of the total area covered by green roofs in London.

Living Roofs aims to work with GiGL to collect green roof data on an annual basis. However, hassling contractors and companies for this information is a huge task. To cover the cost of gathering this information, Living Roofs have been asking boroughs to become members of livingroofs.org Ltd.

For a nominal fee of £250 boroughs will be able, through GIGL, to access the data. In the opinion of Living Roofs, and in keeping with planners’ needs to meet green roof targets, this money should come from planning budgets, not nature conservation budgets. Living Roofs, in association with GiGL, will aim to write an annual review of the data and release that data to the GLA, which has already signed up to the process, and to participating boroughs.

This green roof data will only be available to members of both GiGL and Living Roofs.

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