Video & Project of the Week for October 5, 2015: High Line

October 9, 2015 at 5:15 pm Project of the Week: 10/05/15


High Line: Phase 1Phase 2Phase 3
New York, NY, USA
~300,313 sq. ft. Greenroof


Phase 1; Photo Courtesy of and ©Steven L. Cantor, Landscape Architect, New York City.

Project Description & Details

An ambitious and highly acclaimed urban reclamation project created in three phases over a period of eight years, the award-winning High Line is noted for its innovative design and sustainability. Located in New York City’s Meatpacking District and Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, the length of the High Line traverses 23 uninterrupted city blocks, 30 feet in the air, with expansive views of New York City and the Hudson River. At a total of 1.45 miles the High Line is considered the “longest greenroof” in the world to date.

The former abandoned elevated railway was championed by the non-profit group “Friends of the High Line” and designed by the landscape architecture firm of James Corner Field Operations and architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro with planting design from Piet Oudolf and engineering design by Buro Happold. ZinCo USA provided the technical basis for all the green roof design concepts in terms of plants, walkways, and leisure areas with Floradrain® drainage elements and ZinCoblend M growing medium.


Phase 1; Photo Courtesy of and ©Steven L. Cantor, Landscape Architect, New York City.


Phase 1; Photo Courtesy of and ©ZinCo.

Phase 1 was completed in 2009 and starts at the Gansevoort Stair. Features include the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Overlook passing through the Gansevoort Woodland; Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature; Chelsea Market Passage; Northern Spur Reserve; 10th Avenue Square and Overlook; Plaza and Woodland; Washington Grasslands; 14th Street Passage; and the Chelsea Grasslands.


Phase 2; Photo Courtesy of and ©Steven L. Cantor, Landscape Architect, New York City.


Phase 2; Photo Courtesy of and ©ZinCo.

Phase 2 was completed in 2011 and features include the Chelsea Thicket; Wildflower Field; 23rd Street Lawn; Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover; and the 26th Street Viewing Spur.


Phase 3; Photo Courtesy of and ©Steven L. Cantor, Landscape Architect, New York City.


Phase 3; Photo Courtesy of and ©ZinCo.

Completed in 2014, Phase 3 picks up around the far west side of the Hudson Yards to West 34th Street across from the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Features include the Pershing Square Beams; Interim Walkway; and the CSX Transportation Gate.


Phase 2; Photo Courtesy of and ©Steven L. Cantor, Landscape Architect, New York City.

One of the most expensive parks ever constructed, the High Line is also one of Manhattan’s most popular destinations and receives 5 million visitors per year. From an overgrown abandoned railroad trestle to a delightful changing panorama of self-seeded landscape and re-introduced indigenous vegetation, original and restored rails, and contemporary artwork to a wide variety of places for relaxation and enjoyment, the iconic High Line is dearly loved as a remarkable landscaped city park in the air.


Phase 1; Photo Courtesy of and ©Steven L. Cantor, Landscape Architect, New York City.

Find more photos and additional information on each profile in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database: Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3.


Phase 1; Photo Courtesy of and ©Steven L. Cantor, Landscape Architect, New York City.

Year: 2009, 2011 and 2014
Owner: City of New York
Location: New York, NY, USA
Building Type: Park
Type: Intensive
System: Custom
Size: ~300,313 sq. ft
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public


Phase 1; Photo Courtesy of and ©Steven L. Cantor, Landscape Architect, New York City.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Landscape Architect: James Corner Field Operations
Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Planting Design: Piet Oudolf
Engineering: Buro Happold
Greenroof System: ZinCo USA
Greenroof Installation: Kelco Landscaping
General Contractor: KiSKA Construction
Construction Management: SiteWorks Landscape & Lend Lease


Phase 1; Photo Courtesy of and ©ZinCo.


Phase 3; Photo Courtesy of and ©ZinCo.

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the High Line Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the profiles: Phase 1Phase 2Phase 3.

Would you like one of your projects to be featured? We have to have a profile first!

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

~ Linda V.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Challenges New York to Become Number #1 for Green Roofs and Walls in North America

October 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Have you seen this challenge from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities yet?  Sounds like they’re throwing down the gauntlet for the City of New York to step up their greening efforts!

New York is already a city with many, many living architecture projects – in fact, we highlighted this fantastic metropolis in our 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design in the #3 category: The Green Apple: New York City

But GRHC believes the city that never sleeps can do better!  Read on from their recent News Release:

Building 3 Million square feet of Green Roofs in New York yields over $95 million in public benefits over a 25 year period including over 4,000 new jobs in construction and maintenance!

New York, NY – Tuesday September 29, 2015 – With just one week to go before 2015 CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference Oct. 5-8, 2015 in Brooklyn, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), the green roof and wall industry association issued a challenge to New York today, calling upon them to work together to implement more than 3 million square feet of green roof each year starting in 2016.

“New York City is in fifth place for the number of green roofs installed after much smaller cities like Washington, Chicago and Philadelphia. We are issuing a challenge to New York policy makers, developers, designers and building owners to contribute to the goal of 1 billion square feet of green roofs installed in North America by 2022 – that amounts to just over 3 million square feet installed each year!” said Steven W. Peck, GRP, Founder and President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.


Source: GRHC 2015, Annual Market Survey

“New York has incredible potential to improve the quality of life in the city by utilizing the miles and miles of rooftops to provide amenity spaces to recreate, grow food and get in touch with nature,” said Mark Morrison, CitiesAlive Conference Co-Chair and Principal, MKM Landscape Architects. “With the right types of policies in place, many building owners would leap at the opportunity to turn their barren rooftops and walls into a private or public oasis,” he added.

While important progress has been made in New York, there is considerable room to utilize green roofs and walls to fight climate change, create jobs and improve equity and social justice across the Five Boroughs. For example, industry leaders in New York have been calling on local and state policy makers to:

  • double the $5.23 per square foot tax abatement for green roofs,
  • remove bureaucratic barriers to implementation,
  • expand the existing Department of Environment’s Green Infrastructure Grant Program,
  • change the City’s stormwater detention standard to a retention standard, and
  • make changes to the building code so all new buildings have the loading capacity for green roof installations.

“We are at a critical juncture as a city, with rents increasing faster than wages; environmental catastrophes such as floods threatening the city’s livelihood; high rates of asthma, obesity and hunger; and increasing divisions between the haves and have-nots. The benefits of green infrastructure to New York City are well documented: green infrastructure reduces energy demand, mitigates flooding, improves housing quality, air quality and public health and supports urban agriculture. For New Yorkers, the choice is ours whether we embrace green infrastructure as a critical solution to our environmental and societal challenges, or whether this technology remains underutilized,” said Rob Crauderueff, Co-Chair of CitiesAlive Legacy Committee and CEO of Crauderueff & Associates.

The Green Infrastructure Design Charrette in Harlem on Thursday, October 8 will bring together local and international designers to help to demonstrate the potential of deep green design and implementation in a 10 block area of central Harlem. The designers will focus on how many jobs can be created, for example, through the use of roofs for food production on buildings owned by the Canaan Baptist Church, a partner in the Charrette.


Source: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, 2015

See the full list of 2015 CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference speakers and activities, and register now at


Perhaps the Big Apple will eventually be known as the Big Green Apple, but regardless, we send kudos to all of the New York City city officials, designers, developers, and researchers who have done so wonderfully so far!

See you in a few days in Brooklyn?

~ Linda V.

Don’t Miss the London Green and Solar Roof Conference Next Week!

September 24, 2015 at 4:43 pm

The future of roofs is Biosolar!

If you are a proponent of or involved with the fantastic synergy of greenroofs and photovoltaics, then you simply cannot miss the 1st European Biosolar Roof Conference in London next week!  Even better because it’s more comprehensive, the Conference will highlight combining greenroof and solar technologies for biodiversity, renewable energy, and resilient cities.


Supported by the Mayor of London and CIRIA, the one-day event will be held at the London Living Room at City Hall, London, on Monday, September 28, 2015 from 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm.  The cost is only £50, including lunch.

The timing is particularly perfect after all of the media hype over the “new French greenroof law” which is actually still under consideration.


Organizers say the 1st European Biosolar Roof Conference brings together leading speakers to show how combining solar and green roof technologies benefit everyone from inhabitants to investors because they:

• Decarbonise the grid, and create energy resilience by decentralising renewable energy production;
• Provide urban havens for pollinators, now that many cities are more biodiverse than the agrichemical countryside;
• Help cities withstand the impacts of climate change, cooling the city, managing storm water and improving air quality.

Speakers include:

London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment & Energy Matthew Pencharz
COO of the Renewable Energy Association Stuart Pocock
President of the EU Federation of Green Roof Associations Dusty Gedge
Head of Global FM Technical at Standard Chartered Bank Darren Sear
Architect Justin Bere
Gill Perkins of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust
And many others, chaired by sustainable futurist Jim McClelland.


Download the Conference Brochure, and all info and booking can be found online at:

For immediate questions, please contact:

Blanche Cameron
Biosolar Roof Conference 2015
Tel: +44 (0)7731 304 966
Twitter: @blanchecameron @biosolarroof


If you haven’t already, you can read more about it from the July 21, 2015 Sky Gardens blog post “London Green and Solar Roof Conference 28th September 2015 (and the French Solar Green Roof Law that Is Not Yet a Law)” by Dusty Gedge President, European Federation of Green Roofs and Walls Associations and  He sits on the EU’s working group for the green Infrastructure and ecosystem services policy.  His work in Europe over the last few years working on a Pan-European green roof course and he is currently advising on a project on green roofs, pollinators, and solar power – Biosolar Roofs.

“Intelligent planning and design should work towards combining green roof and solar technologies – it should not aim towards an ‘either or’ situation. This brings into focus the general thrust of…the Biosolar Roof Project.

The ‘Bio’ element of the Biosolar Roof Project focuses on the provision of biodiversity on green roofs through the use of solar panels.  Solar panels on green roofs can in fact, through good design, provide a more diverse native floral community, which in turn benefits biodiversity, especially pollinators.  This fits neatly into the European Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services Strategy that aims to address Europe’s declining biodiversity.” ~ Dusty Gedge on, 2015

Dusty and his colleague Nathalie Baumann spoke on the Biosolar Roofs subject at our 3rd  Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.  Filmed in UK and Switzerland, the presentation celebrates the work of the EU-funded project called Up on the Roof; watch their Biosolar Trailer below:

The London Conference condenses the Biosolar Roof Project’s array of information and stories from across Europe where biosolar roofs are being installed, including in London.  The conference will be of interest to policy makers, building owners, facility managers, architects, landscape architects, ecologists and sustainability professionals – and more.

This is going to be an awesome conference!  We really wish we could have fit it into our travel schedule, but unfortunately we can’t go – this time…Enjoy!

~ Linda V.

How Do We Select the “Project of the Week” Feature on

September 22, 2015 at 4:27 pm

We’re very pleased that our international readership loves our “Project of the Week” feature!

We feel it’s a great way to get everyone interested in a variety of different types of greenroofs and greenwalls from across the world.  And, the weekly eBlast to our 10,000+ opt-in eNewsletter subscribers is meant to give everyone just a bit of info – tantalizing enough so people click it to see the entire profile in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.


Our Projects Database has been up and open to the world since 2004, evolving from the “International and North American Case Studies” portion of my initial 1999 independent UGA research study “Greenroof Technology: A Viable Roofing Alternative” that was the basis for  The initial 30 or so profiles have grown to over 1,600 and counting, and we feel sharing these is an important learning experience for us all.

The Philips Eco-Enterprise Greenroof in Minneapolis, MN; photo courtesy The Kestrel Design Group.

Our Project of the Week feature started in March, 2006 when we selected the Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center (PEEC) – now Greenway Office Building – profile, above, submitted by Peter MacDonagh of The Kestrel Design Group.  In 2008 we displayed our first Greenwall Project of the Week, Anthropologies, below, submitted by George Irwin of Green Living Technologies.

Anthropologies' Greenwall in Hunstville, AL; photo courtesy GLT

As you probably know, we now create an exclusive 2 to 2.5 minute video for each “Project of the Week” where it not only plays on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube as well as the actual weekly eBlast, but we also blog about it, and highlight it on our site – plus on all our Social Media sites.

Since we get so many requests about how we actually select our “Projects of the Week” here on, plus it’s been over 10 years since I last blogged about it, here we go again:

So, what do we need before we select the “Project of the Week” feature? 

  1. First of all, we have to have a profile for it in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database!  If we don’t have it, we don’t know about it.  Submit Yours using the easy online form, a Word doc, Excel Sheet, or more.
  2. The profile needs to be complete, with LOTS of information – the more, the better!  Try not to leave anyone’s participation out.
  3. We need a minimum of 15 – 18 hi-res photos of different angles, including close-ups and at least one building shot (unless it’s private and you just don’t want it shown).  While each profile only holds up to 11 photos and/or graphics, we need at least 4 – 7 more for the video.  Regarding photos: you MUST have permission to use them – do NOT send us copyrighted material unless you have permission from the photographer/owner in writing.  There are many “photo trolls” out there – lawyers pouncing on people because they thought they had permission or inadvertently “borrowed” photos off the web without explicit permission; cannot be held liable for unapproved photo usage.  Please include credits, too.

How do we select the “Project of the Week” feature?  Once we have all of the above, these are the general guidelines:

  1. The project needs to be visually interesting, appealing, or important in some way!  Aesthetics are taken into consideration as this is living architecture!  Remember the living part – the actual plants of the greenroof or wall – and showcase the best features.  And people want details!
  2. We try and vary between greenroofs and greenwalls – but since we have so many more living roof projects, the ratio of greenroofs to greenwalls is much greater.
  3. We try to vary: the location in the world, size, type of project (extensive, intensive), building application (commercial, educational, research, municipal, multi/single-family residential, etc.) , system (built-in place, modular, custom or living wall vs. green facade, etc.), designers, manufacturers, providers, etc., plus drivers and more.
  4. When possible, I’ll highlight a project that has something going on that week or month.  For example, we’ve been showcasing New York City projects in anticipation of CitiesAlive next month in The Big Apple.
  5. We try to highlight the people who support our work more by selecting our advertisers about 4:1 over non-advertisers.
  6. But everyone is welcome!  The point is to continue to create a free global resource for greenroof and greenwall projects worldwide – and spotlight one really awesome one per week.

Believe it or not, sometimes it just boils down to having a 100% completed profile!  If you think it’s hard for you to get all of these photos and info together for one project, imagine how we stressed we get sometimes trying to have a project ready to go with all of the bells and whistles – every week.

We appreciate everyone’s time and commitment to making The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database as complete, and open and accessible as possible – why not showcase one of your own projects?


To see all of the projects we’ve chosen since January, 2013, check out our Projects of the Week Gallery page.  To watch the videos, which we started in February of 2014, visit Greenroofs & Greenwalls Projects of the Week on our YouTube channel.


The Greenroof/Greenwall Project of the Week feature on is a great way to have readers – design professionals, media, stakeholders, government, researchers, students, and potential clients – see what’s been done, where, how, and by whom.  Search  The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database for yourself!


If you have any questions, just email us at or call 888.477.1326 or 770.772.7334.

Happy greening!

~ Linda V.