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Happy New Year 2019 & Reflecting Back on 2018!

on January 2, 2019 at 4:40 pm under , , ,

Happy New Year 2019!

We hope your festivities and holidays were filled with family, laughter and good cheer!

As we embark into 2019, we at want to thank our readers and advertisers for supporting our work.  YOU are the reason we can do what we do: promote the earth friendly living architecture of greenroofs & greenwalls ~ inside and out of our built environment!

Reflecting Back on 2018

Lots of press to be had and advances made in the greenroof and greenwall industry in many areas from different key players, from individuals and companies to governments and industry organizations, while debate still continues in the climate change arena.

Following are selected 2018 articles and social media posts from and others we have reported on that are important or meaningful.

Living Architecture Breakthroughs

Happy New Year 2019

Chicago City Hall. Photo: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS (CC BY-SA 4.0)


February: A worthy retweet:

March: A particularly important Guest Feature here on

April: San Francisco Planning’s Better Roofs Ordinance Receives National Recognition for Excellence in Sustainability  This came as a result of its January 1, 2017 San Francisco Better Roofs Ordinance which resulted after four years of collaborative effort in concert with SPUR, the San Francisco Department of the Environment, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. San Francisco became the first US city to mandate solar and living roofs on most new construction!

July: NPR created a great video with: Why Don’t More Cities Require Green Roofs?

New York City Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr., together with several other representatives including Stephen Levin and Donovan Richards, proposed a new green roof policy bill requiring that certain NYC buildings be covered in green roofs, solar panels or small wind turbines.

Due to a united effort between local nonprofits, community members, and elected officials, the Green Roof Requirement for the City of Portland (OR) came into effect.  Read Elizabeth Hart Morris’: Portland Adopts a Green Roof Requirement in the Central City 2035 Plan


Demonstrating the environmental and health benefits of greenroofs for Kansas City, Missouri, the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) laid out a replicable analytical framework using free quantitative tools created by EPA and others that state and local decision-makers and practitioners can use to assess the multiple benefits of green roofs: EPA Case Study: Estimating the Environmental Effects of Green Roofs





So much for the positive!

Combating A Warming & Less Green World

Happy New Year 2019

Are we going in this direction?  Image: TIME

Yet, we all know our planet is getting hotter and a host of entities are informing us about both dire consequences and things we can actually do to prevent climate change-related catastrophes.

Green infrastructure, of course, is one of the climate mitigation responses which in turn will help other developmental ills such as lack of greenspace, biodiversity, etc.

Happy New Year 2019

Hopefully, we can turn the planet to a much greener direction! Image: Inchi9 Wikimedia CCA-SA 4.0 International license




April: Arup researched and advised nature-based solutions to try and green the world’s arid regions in its excellent: New Arup Report Says Arid Cities Need Design Paradigm Shift to Remain Viable


October: A landmark United Nations report warned that sufficiently limiting man-made global warming will “require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”: Here’s What Humanity Must Do Immediately to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change, According to the New U.N. Report


Urban green infrastructure can contribute to site-scale strategies to improve air quality and thermal comfort, and hence human health: Cities, Pollution and Climate Change: To What Extent Can Green Infrastructure Help?

Aramis had some great resources to share with his: From Greenroofs to Greenwalls – Many Ways to Combat Climate Change

Released the day after Thanksgiving by the White House, the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) report draws a direct connection between the warming atmosphere and resulting changes: White House Quietly Releases a Comprehensive Climate Assessment Report

December: Milestones in 2018

Highlights that made 2018 a year to remember for us personally include traveling and speaking on everyone’s favorite subject; a personal award; and the celebration of our new branding and website redesign:

February: Aramis and I had the pleasure of attending the 5th International Green Roof Congress 2018 Kuwait, hosted for the first time in the Persian Gulf region.  Read more about the trip and congress: Al Shaheed Park, Kuwait

April: A favorite of mine!  In celebration of Earth Month, along with The Global Grid we co-hosted our first Twitter Chat.  Sarah Essbai of The Global Grid hosted the live event in Amsterdam and I had the honor to participate in Alpharetta, GA along with our fellow panelists Dusty Gedge, co-founder of and the current President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB) in London; Tesse Duste, co-founder of Moss Amsterdam in Amsterdam; and Ben Flanner, Director of Agriculture, President, and co-founder of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in New York City: Green Roofs: A Sustainability Voucher for Cities? #TheGlobalGrid Chat Recap

Happy New Year 2019

Dusty Gedge, Tesse Duste, Ben Flanner, Linda Velazquez

May: I can’t believe I never wrote about this before (perhaps I still will a bit more in depth) but I was very honored to receive the PRONATUR Socia de Honor 2018 for my “meritorious trajectory in favor of urban nature and green cities,” along with fellow urban greening associate Erik Gómez Baggum of Norway.

Happy New Year 2019

Awarded by our dear Spanish PRONATUR colleagues Dr. Julián Briz and Dr. Isabel de Felipe, Aramis and I traveled to Madrid for the diploma where I spoke to the audience at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid for one of my shorter presentations at only about 15 minutes – but all in Spanish!  My first real talk in my second language was fun but I shuddered at hearing my gringa accent.

September: It took some blood, sweat and tears – plus a couple of years – but we were thrilled with the release of our new website: It’s Finally Here: Announces New Website Redesign!

Happy New Year 2019

CitiesAlive in Brooklyn was awesome for many reasons, and now that Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is switching their greenroof and greenwall conference to every other year and concentrating 2019 for Local Green Roof and Wall Market Development Symposia, it made the 2018 gathering even more special: A Successful CitiesAlive 2018 NYC!

October: On a much lighter side, if you haven’t yet seen this ironically sly video from the nonprofit Green Plants for Green Buildings, please do!  It’s really funny and completely gets the point across about the simplicity of vegetation: The Next Big Thing in Technology is a Really Old Thing: The Living Plant!

Now We Look to a Happy New Year 2019

This October marks’s 20th anniversary and we’ll continue to report on global news, projects, and happenings, and offer unique marketing offerings for our valued advertisers in 2019!

Watch for our 2018 Featured Projects in Review Video coming very soon and more new website enhancements throughout the year.

If you’re attending the upcoming International Roofing Expo (IRE) 2019 on February 11-13 in Nashville (held at the awesome Music City Center), don’t miss the 90 minute panel session: “Vegetated Roofing: A 10-year Perspective on Growth and Opportunities” with Moderator Joanne Rodriguez, Mary Ann Uhlmann, Elizabeth Hart Morris, and me!

We’re really looking forward to our fifth foray into online conferencing, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2019.  Stay tuned for new features, social media experiences, and awesome speakers!

Happy New Year 2019

Film still from the short video “Land in the Sky: The Rooftop Garden at Native Child and Family Services of Toronto” by Kelsey Carriere from the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit.

Don’t forget in 2019 that we’d love to hear from your perspective, so why not get published here? Write for Call for Contributors

And, if you enjoy our work we ask that you connect with us on social media and consider Advertising with us by getting your company listed in the Directory.  We currently have a 20% discount campaign going on, so if you’re interested, now’s the time!

Private residence greenroof in Bnei Zion, Israel. Photo: Eyal Mirelman, BLDVG.

Private residence greenroof in Bnei Zion, Israel. Photo: Eyal Mirelman, BLDVG.

Finally, let’s make a concerted effort to put nature back into the global forefront in 2019.  Earth is the only home we have!

Designing with living architecture and green infrastructure will help, of course.  But, we need to do MORE than just protect our embattled planet and mitigate climate change, we need to STOP the process and set in motion ways to reverse it.

I’ll leave you by recommending you watch this marvelous and impassioned speech on just this very subject by not only a great actor, but a “tireless champion for conservation and an outspoken climate change activist”:

All the very best in 2019 and here’s to a Happy New Year,

Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summits Host


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