Press Release: New 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Website

March 10, 2017 at 4:45 pm Press New 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Website

Alpharetta, GA USA ( Press Release – March 9, 2017)., the greenroof and greenwall industry’s resource and online information portal and producer of the biennial Virtual Summits, is excited to announce the new website release of their 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture ~ People, Projects & Design!

The 4th biennial web-based 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit highlighting excellence and lessons learned in green living architecture will be held from April 9 – 30, and on demand through December, 2017.

Beautiful, bold graphics herald the new design with easy navigation. An Agenda packed with a provocative lineup of speakers and live streaming Q & As with speakers on Facebook Live promise to create an extraordinary global social media experience for learning and networking completely online during April, Earth Month.

Attendees can enjoy the Virtual Summit from their desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone or any streaming device Press New 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Website

For 2017 is thrilled to have these renowned luminaries as Keynotes: Press New 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Website

  • Trailblazing green architect, graphic and industrial designer Emilio Ambasz, designer of the ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall in Japan and the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation in Venice, among numerous others;
  • Noted botanist and researcher Patrick Blanc, PhD, inventor of the Vertical Garden, or Le Mur Végétal, whose over 250 biodiverse designs include the One Central Park in Sydney and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris;
  • Educational, affordable local food systems, and workforce development innovator Stephen Ritz, responsible for the new National Health, Wellness and Learning Center at CS 55 in South Bronx and founder of the Green Bronx Machine;
  • Industry leader Joanne Rodriguez, CSI, CDT, LEED AP, with two decades of experience working within the building products and construction communities, with an emphasis on sustainable building impacts and high performance building envelope assemblies.

Explore current trends in living architecture, classroom food literacy, certified student workforce training, sustainable stormwater design, rooftop urban ag and more, from the micro-scale of dwellings to the macro-scale of cities. With easier and more socially interactive online platforms, invites you to attend and come network along with a host of fellow influencers from around the world, and bring your voice to the global table.

“Join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit on April 9th through the 30th – and on demand through December, 2017. Over 30 presenters from Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Italy, Puerto Rico, UK, and the U.S. will inspire you to Discover, Network & Share.

Watch and learn about the latest projects and developments in vegetated building envelopes worldwide, and interact with avant-garde architects, landscape architects, designers, educators, and leaders of government who have captured the essence of living with nature.” ~ Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP, Founder/Publisher of & 2017 Virtual Summit Host Press New 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Website

See all of the engaging video presenters on the Speakers page.

New for 2017

Attendees can watch all of the videos completely within the Virtual Summit website environment. And true to’s commitment to world-wide affordability and accessibility, the 2017 Virtual Summit Registration Fees are $50 for Professionals and $25 for Students/Faculty & Government, along with free registration to the Expo Pavilion Trade Show and Facebook Live events:

  • In order to increase brand awareness and further showcase our Partners, the Trade Show held in the Expo Pavilion will be free and accessible to everyone across the globe.
  • Participants are invited to join in the Facebook Live Q & A broadcast events over the Earth Day Weekend on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, April 21, 22 & 23, 2017. Live video streaming is a fun, engaging way to connect with followers and the audience. Press New 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Website
Registration will be open soon, along with the release of the final agenda. Follow all the event updates using #virtualsummit2017 on Twitter.

Support our ground-breaking work by becoming our Partner as a Sponsor, Exhibitor, or Association/Media Partner, or as an attendee.

For more information, come visit Press New 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Website

About the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summits: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design:
Produced by, in addition to increasing awareness of our market and industry the Virtual Summit 2017 is an interactive platform for idea interchange through a combination of keynote speakers, expert panel sessions, individual & collaborative videos, and streaming Speaker Q&As on Facebook Live. Held previously in 2015, 2013 and 2011, our biennial Virtual Summits are unlike any other event in the industry – held completely online without any carbon footprint and drastically reducing the price of attending and participating. Paid registration is required to watch the current year’s Virtual Summit videos, but after approximately one year after each event, they all are made all freely available online.  At present, we have 110 archived videos on our Virtual Summit playlists on YouTube.

Established in 1999, is an interactive website, online media company, vibrant social network, and the most comprehensive online resource for greenroofs, greenwalls and related fields promoting best practices in sustainability.’s Mission is as a catalyst for the growing green architecture industry and Earth’s connection to emerging trends of living architecture and nature-based infrastructure practices. We live in a blue-green world and represent an environmentally aware industry who protects our environment utilizing vegetated building envelope practices providing smart building solutions to our critical world issues of climate change, urban heat islands, renewable energies, stormwater management, CSO’s, water conservation, water & air pollution, flooding, wildlife habitat, urban greenspace, food security – and much more.

Updated daily, is the largest platform for greenroof and greenwall news online and is where diverse professionals find global projects in the international Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database and products and services in the Greenroof & Greenwall Directory for their own projects.  

Press Contact:
Aramis M. Velázquez | CEO, LLC.
Alpharetta, Georgia 30005

Happy New (Challenging) Year 2017 and Let’s Get Involved

January 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Happy New Year to all and continued prosperity!

With the new leadership in the U.S., 2017 promises to be a challenging one for those of us in the pro-environment industry, here and abroad.  With the elections past and a new president in office, many of us feel disillusioned, angry, and even scared with the looming specter of the new administration’s upcoming four years.  But even if you say and believe “He’s not My president,” like it or not he actually is for now – but there is always something we can do as citizens to not feel so disenfranchised.  We can be part of the solution (or at least the opposition)!

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

Joseph Velazquez in Atlanta for the The March for Social Justice and Women. Photo by Hilary Bradford, Atlanta, 2017.

Even if you were not particularly politically active in the past, as I have been, for me this is the time for our collective similar-minded community to speak up and contribute our thoughts and actions.  We can voice our opinions and fight for a just, open, healthy, pro-environment and all-embracing peaceful community – on a small scale for all of our people and places, and on a grand scale for the future health of our planet.  Even if you voted for Trump for a host of other reasons, it must be clear that his policies on the environment and energy are dire, at best and to say the least.

Earlier this month two of our family members participated in The March for Social Justice and Women, which had an attendance of about 60,000 here in Atlanta and 3,000,000 globally.  On February 16 Aramis and I are planning to attend the Climate & Health Meeting: How the Climate Crisis Affects Public Health from The Climate Reality Project in partnership with the American Public Health Association, Harvard Global Health Institute, the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment, and Dr. Howard Frumkin, former director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health at the Carter Center.  Originally scheduled as a 3-day conference, it was unexpectedly cancelled earlier this month:

The Climate & Health Meeting is being held following the abrupt cancellation of a major climate change-public health conference planned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin told The Washington Post that the CDC’s event was called off preemptively in an attempt to avoid any entanglements with the then-incoming Trump Administration, which has nominated several climate deniers to key cabinet positions relating to the environment and already has ordered science-based government agencies to cease the release of important public information and put a freeze on Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts that could, according to the Post, “affect everything from state-led climate research to localized efforts to improve air and water quality to environmental justice projects aimed at helping poor communities.” ~ The Climate Reality Project

And we are keeping our eyes open for more information on the 2017 People’s Climate March on Washington just announced two days ago for April 29:

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

A steering committee of more than two dozen organizations is organizing the event. It is supported by the major national environmental groups and an array of social justice, religious, and labor groups, ranging from the Hip Hop Caucus to the Franciscan Action Network to the BlueGreen Alliance. More than 100 groups have endorsed the march. ~ InsideClimateNews

Climate reality is just that – science-based and real, here to stay.  Preaching to the choir here, we all know how climate change affects so many aspects of our lives, and we believe that designing with nature by incorporating plants on, over, and within our built environment can ameliorate at least our own neighborhoods and urban heat islands.  Greening buildings and creating green infrastructure is what we all do in some form or another – it’s our industry, so let’s get involved!

In the past many have devoted their time and effort to promoting Earth Hour, March 25; Earth Month, April; or specifically Earth Day, April 22.  But these events are meant to serve as reminders that our planet should be revered and protected every day of the year, not just sometimes.

So what can we do?  Beyond writing and calling your state senators and representatives, why not join or see what The Climate Reality Project, Earth HourEarth MonthEarth Day and these other organizations are doing, too: 350.orgNRDCAvaaz, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, EARTHJUSTICEGreen AmericaGreenpeace, Scientists’ March on Washington, ACORE, WWF, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and of course Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, our own North American industry association, among so many others!

Of course, we would love to have you join/follow us our social media networks, too, to voice your opinion within our specific industry: Network on LinkedIn; Facebook; Twitter; GreenroofsTV Channel on YouTubePinterest; and our eNewsletters.

Earlier this month on January 18 both NASA and NOAA announced that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded (since 1880), to the indifference of climate-deniers.  Previously, 2015 held the title of Warmest Global Year on Record.

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

In the past I have always believed in supporting our U.S. presidents – at least having respect for the Office of the President, but for me currently there is very little to respect in the persona of Donald Trump.  But with enough voices and actions, perhaps we can create some change and at least make his tenure palatable.

And to this effect, we hope you join us for our 4th biennial 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit starting on April 9 through April 30. With a distinguished Advisory Group for 2017 and easier and more socially interactive online platforms, come network with us along with a host of fellow influencers from around the world, and bring your voice to the global table.

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

Here’s to peace, love, happiness, thriving business, and action for all in 2017!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP Publisher

Save the Dates for the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit: April 9 – 30!

January 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm is excited to announce the dates for our upcoming 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture on April 9 – 30!

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30

Held previously in 2015, 2013 and 2011, our biennial Virtual Summits have been very successful at bringing together people from around the world to learn, discuss, and network in our fields of green infrastructure and living architecture via the power of the Internet – and we have new speakers and cool special features to make 2017 the best to date!

“Imagine a world of green: What are we doing to advance living architecture?” ~’s Virtual Summits

Building upon these initiatives, our 4th foray into the world of online virtual conferences embraces these awesome, inspiring, and highly esteemed Keynotes confirmed for the 2017 Virtual Summit so far:

Commendatore (Commander) della Rep. Italiana, Ordine della Stella d’Italia; Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects; Honorary International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; ISA 2014 Medal for Science, The Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bologna; First Madre Terra Awardee

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30

Emilio Ambasz is a highly acclaimed green architect, award-winning industrial and graphic designer, author, and former Curator of the Department of Architecture and Design for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and is best known for his “Green over Gray” philosophy of design sensitivity.  Since its inception in 1976 as building consultants and planners, Emilio Ambasz & Associates has created a belief in and identification with quality to find representative expression in form, performance, added value, and strong symbolic content.

In all its projects, the firm seeks to reconcile the building with nature with the complete integration of building and the landscape.  A pioneer of ecological architecture, just a few of Emilio’s iconic living architecture portfolio projects include the ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall in Japan, Environment Park (EnviPark) in Turin, Italy, and the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus) in Venice, Italy.  The design sense in all three of these examples reconciles a developer’s desire for profitable use of a site with the public’s need for open green space:

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30


STEM / STEAM Executive Director, National Health, Wellness and Learning Center at CS 55 in South Bronx; Founder of Green Bronx Machine; 2015 Global Teacher Prize Top Ten Finalist; TED TALK 2012: A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30

For over 30 years Stephen Ritz has been a science teacher/administrator in the nation’s poorest congressional district, the South Bronx.  His mantra is “Si se puede!” (Yes you can!) using “Amer-I-Can” innovation and spirit in his message of hope, urgency, and resilience.  As founder of the student-led Green Bronx Machine, his super-charged energy focuses on education, affordable local food systems, and 21st century workforce development.

Years ago Stephen’s class had the first living wall in an NYC school growing veggies and herbs, and in 2016 opened the National Health, Wellness and Learning Center, a 100+ year old reclaimed school library, with indoor gardens, robotics, a 100% mobile classroom kitchen with broadcast capabilities, solar and pedal power stations, computer lab, outside gardens, and more.  The innovative STEM/STEAM curriculum is integrated with plant-based teaching lessons that align with core school curriculum.  His upcoming book The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools (May 2017), is his inspiring story about how incorporating gardening and plants into teaching curriculum moved the graduation rate of students from 17% to 100% and improved attendance to 93% in his South Bronx high school.

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30

New in 2017

For maximum engagement between speakers and participants from across the globe, for the VS 2017 we’ll be offering some very social platforms so you can easily watch your favorite videos then network in real time with your favorite speakers with new ways to connect, watch, and interact.  Come join us online to find out!

People, Projects & Design

Our website and the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summits: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture have always been focused on People, Projects & Design:

PEOPLE: Creative thinkers, innovators, and trailblazers sharing project-focused organic “vegitecture”

PROJECTS: International icons of sustainability: early successes + current & visionary profiles of excellence in design

DESIGN: Proven standards of diverse green technologies + dynamic and cutting edge designs for greening the planet with building integrated greenery: bioclimatic, biodiversity, biomimicry & chic sustainability

This is what and who we are.  Stay tuned for more exciting information, coming soon!

We’ll keep you posted along the way, but for now please Save the Dates now for April 9 – 30, 2017 for your participation in the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP Publisher

In Memoriam: Dr. Diana Balmori

January 20, 2017 at 2:01 am

The quintessential thinker, master professional, and inspirational ecological designer, Dr. Diana Balmori, FASLA, IFLA, passed away on November 14, 2016 of lung cancer.  The brilliant, classy, and just wonderful lady transcended professional and even nationalistic labels; her design ethic metamorphosed fields of study and melded into one of a progressive yet sensitive sense of living architecture.

In Memoriam Dr. Diana Balmori Balmori Associates

Dr. Diana Balmori. Photo by Margaret Morton.

Based in New York City for over 20 years, Diana Balmori was the renown landscape designer and principal of Balmori Associates.  She received numerous accolades over the years, and was internationally recognized for her progressive body of work.

2015 Virtual Summit Keynote Video

We here at were very fortunate to have had Diana Balmori as a Keynote speaker for our 2015 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design.  We had known her elegant soul since 2002, when she and I had both spoken at the Earth Pledge Foundation (now defunct) in New York City.  Since landscape architecture is my own background, I had been inspired by her work for a long time and greatly enjoyed following her progress throughout the years as a truly thoughtful representation of female leadership.

In July of last year we released her Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 Keynote Video: “Green Roofs to New Cities” by Dr. Diana Balmori; please watch it below to see some of her recent work:

Regarding greenroofs, for her 2015 Keynote video Diana wrote:

“The big picture is that half of the world lives in cities; it will be 2/3 by 2025.  Cities are major producers of all the things which are feeding climate change. Green roofs are a simple tool we could us to change this effect, if used at the macroscale.  Green roofs can also play an urban role as open space and as connectors.” ~ Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015

Specifically, she explained why greenroofs are a revolutionary tool at these levels: Building – by altering the relation between landscape and architecture to the benefit of both; City – by reducing the heat island effect; River – by preventing floods and cleaning drainage water; and Living Being – by improving our health.”

A Global Perspective

Having been born in Gijón, on the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain, in 1932, she left with her parents to England in 1936 since her father, Clemente Hernando Balmori, a Spanish linguist and a Loyalist, needed to escape political persecution during the Spanish Civil War.  Her mother, Dorothy Ling Balmori, was an English pianist and composer who met her husband in Berlin while both were doing postgraduate work.  Right after the start of World War II, the family relocated to Argentina when her father obtained a teaching position.

Diana started her educational life in architecture; however, because of a student outbreak over a protest, her entire class was expelled.  She emigrated to the U.S. in 1952 with her Argentine-born husband whom she had met at university, the noted architect César Pelli.  She moved to Los Angeles in 1964 and in 1973 earned a doctorate in urban history at U.C.L.A.

Ms. Balmori championed a new understanding of landscape architecture and the built environment. She rejected the division between architecture and landscape, and the idea of landscaping as “shrubbing up,” as she sometimes put it: providing a beautiful backdrop for buildings. Instead, she saw the urban fabric as an interweaving of human activity, natural forces and designed settings and buildings.

“It’s bringing all the pieces together,” she told Guernica magazine in 2013, describing her concept of landscape architecture. “It’s not just buildings, it’s not just road; it’s also social factors, geological factors, climate factors — a much more complex mix.” The goal, she said, was a blending of “very clear human engineering with ecology and with landscape.” ~ The New York Times, 2016

Read the entire excellent “Diana Balmori, Landscape Architect With a Blending Philosophy, Dies at 84” by William Grimes of The New York Times for more on her life.

Recent Life and Times

In Memoriam Dr. Diana Balmori Balmori Associates

From Diana’s staff in 2015 for the Virtual Summit:

Diana Balmori founded Balmori Associates in 1990. The landscape and urban design practice is recognized internationally for designing sustainable infrastructures that serves as an interface between landscape and architecture. In 2006, she created BAL/LABs within Balmori Associates, to further push the boundaries of architecture, art and engineering: Green Roofs, Floating Islands, Temporary Landscapes, Forms of Representation, and Zero Waste City, among others.

Diana keeps an active voice in national policy and decision-making on topics that relate to landscape design, architecture and urban planning. She has served as: member of The United States Commission of Fine Arts in Washington, DC; a Senior Fellow of Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC; a member of the Allston Development Group at Harvard University, Boston, MA; on the Board of The Van Alen Institute, New York City; The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for the World Trade Center Site, New York City; and as a Committee Member for the Comprehensive Design Plan for the White House.

Diana’s opinion-editorials and articles about her work have been featured in Dwell, The Architects Newspaper, Monocle, El Pais, PBS, WNYC, Design Observer, and Utne Reader, which named her one of fifty “Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” in 2009. She was named Fast Company’s Third Most Creative People in Business (June 2013) and one of ten Innovators by Architectural Digest (September 2013).

Her book A Landscape Manifesto (Yale University Press, 2010) has received international attention and was recently translated into Chinese. Her most recent book is Drawing and Reinventing Landscape (Architectural Design Primer) [above] (A/D Wiley, 2014). Since 1993 she has been a Critic at Yale University in both the School of Architecture and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

As noted above, Diana was voted one of 2013’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” from Fast Company – at # 3, no less.  She had been artfully leading the combined fields of landscape design, architecture and urban planning for decades:

In Memoriam Dr. Diana Balmori Balmori Associates

Diana was one of the early proponents of greenroofs and living architecture, and her 2005 research piece/inventory study on Long Island City – and its resulting “Asthma Alley” – demonstrated how living roofs could affect a direct health-oriented benefit in communities.  This research resulted in greenroofs being constructed atop Silvercup Studios and the Gratz Industries Company.

In Memoriam Dr. Diana Balmori Balmori Associates

In 2014 Diana and her firm Balmori Associates completed the enormous new governmental city of Sejong, Public Administration Town in South Korea.  Based on the previous natural attributes of the mountains and rivers on the site, her large masterplan introduced the idea of a landscape taking the primordial organizing idea to organize the architecture – the result is buildings interconnected with sweeping, continuous greenroofs.

In Memoriam Dr. Diana Balmori Balmori Associates

In Memoriam Dr. Diana Balmori Balmori Associates

Balmori Associates said, “We proposed a new approach to city-making, one that starts with landscape architecture. The master plan consists of a continuous linear park on a continuous roof joining all the ministries.” Dictated by the contours of the land that were once hilly but now flattened to make way for as many as 500,000 future residents, a grid of streets and transit runs through the center of the city within a network of green spaces. The connected buildings were designed to look like an Oriental dragon in flight from above and the superstructure on top contains a variety of planted sloping walkways, wide-open expanses, ramps, and corridors – with the government offices below. Three interconnected urban strategies were proposed: FLAT CITY, LINK CITY, and ZERO WASTE CITY. The beautiful greenroof equals 28 acres and the pitches vary considerably, allowing it to slope down to the ground in pedestrian-friendly inclines.

In Memoriam Dr. Diana Balmori Balmori Associates

A Celebration of Diana Balmori’s Life

Diana Balmori is survived by her husband, César Pelli; sons, Rafael Pelli and Denis Pelli; and granddaughters, Delia and Iris.  A Celebration of Diana Balmori’s Life will be presented on January 30, 2017 at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York by Balmori Associates who says that all are welcome to attend; please see more information at their website.

In Memoriam Dr. Diana Balmori Balmori Associates

Dr. Diana Balmori. Photo via Balmori Associates, by Kristin Gladney.

Dr. Diana Balmori was an exceptional bright shining star in our universe of ecological architecture and design, with decades of contributions in the form of thought leadership, outstanding projects, and education and will be greatly missed and remembered by design followers from across the globe.

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP Publisher