Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 6: “Sky Meadows – Integrating People and Nature: Sustainable Green Roofs and Roof Gardens” by Dr. Nigel Dunnett

January 18, 2012 at 9:44 am

Today we have the pleasure to air Dr. Nigel Dunnett’s video presentation “Sky Meadows – Integrating People and Nature: Sustainable Green Roofs and Roof Gardens” from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Aramis and I have known Nigel for a while now, probably about nine years or so – he is quite a gentle yet very enthusiastic and passionate soul when it comes to greenroofs and living walls!  We run into him all over the place at conferences worldwide: Nuertingen, Boston,  Basel, London, Singapore…  and with his years of study and knowledge, we were so happy he agreed to participate in our Virtual Summit!

Research on greenroofs has been under way by the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield investigating the range of plant material that is suitable for use on extensive and semi-extensive greenroofs in the UK climate  since 2003.  Further trials investigate plant establishment methods, particularly the use of seed mixtures to establish meadow-like communities of both native and non-native grasses and flowering plants:

Nigel Dunnett, PhD is Director of the Green Roof Centre and Professor in Planting Design and Urban Horticulture at the University of Sheffield, UK.  With a background and experience in botany, ecology, horticulture and design, his teaching and research focuses on sustainable urban planting approaches to maximise benefit to people and wildlife.  He is lead author of Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls, 2nd edn 2008; Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living, 2011; and Rain Gardens, 2007. He convened the First and Second National Green Roof Conferences in the UK, and acts widely as a consultant on urban planting design matters.  He devised the vegetation strategy for the green roof on the Sharrow School, UK – the world’s first purpose-designed and government-designated green roof nature preserve, and is currently horticultural consultant to the London 2012 Olympic Park.

Dr. Nigel Dunnett’s “Sky Meadows – Integrating People and Nature: Sustainable Green Roofs and Roof Gardens” presentation proposes that green roofs represent a unique opportunity for inserting large areas of diverse, naturalistic, biodiversity-supporting, and beautiful vegetation into the heart of our urban areas: an opportunity that is virtually impossible to repeat in the same way on the ground.

Sustainable solutions now exist for all contexts: large and small, public, private, intensive through to extensive.  Drawing upon the dramatic potential of dryland vegetation around the world, and his own research and practice, the author looks again at the ethical and aesthetic considerations for creating green roofs that are exciting for people, beneficial for wildlife, and low in resource-use.

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “Sky Meadows – Integrating People and Nature: Sustainable Green Roofs and Roof Gardens” or click below:

Watch earlier videos on our exclusive Virtual Summit greenroofs.tv play list, or see the following Virtual Summit videos now available on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

If you’re looking for an overview, make sure to see our  2011 Virtual Summit Highlights video (6:18) and our  2011 Virtual Summit Trailer (2:59).

Check back next week on GreenroofsTV for our 7th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.