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’s 2016 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design

December 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm

It’s hard to believe 2016 is coming to a close! We’ve just announced’s 2016 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design for you vegetated building envelope lovers.

Now in our tenth year, for 2016 Design Editor Haven Kiers and I, as Publisher, compiled a special 10th Anniversary Edition of our popular “Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design” series with the theme of “What’s old (or classic) is new again!” We reviewed our trendsetting categories of yearly en vogue market drivers and architectural designs of the past decade and featured our favorite top 10 groupings we considered most timely and significant – yet revitalized with new and exciting projects and designers.

Our favorite green architecture designers are here including Emilio Ambasz, Bjarket Ingels Group (BIG), Vincent Callebaut, just to name a few. So here goes:

2016 Top 10 List Hot Trends in Greenroof Greenwall Design

The “Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design”:

10) Client Specific ‘Boutique’ Greenroofs & Greenwalls

9) PreFab Modular Homes are Fabulous

8) Earth-Sheltering for Sustainable Site Design

7) Gardens in the Clouds: Stacking & Stepping with Vegetation

6) LID Strategies: Celebrating Water with Greenroofs, Rain Gardens, Stormwater Catchment & Beyond

5) Innovative Greenwalls: Stretching Design & Our Imagination

4) Educational Facilities as Green Living Laboratories

3) España: A Progressive Líder in Green Design

2) Sky Farms on the (High)Rise

1) Skyscraping Sky Gardens on Roofs, Walls & Skybridges

Always striving for a captivating combination of ecosensitivity and chic sustainability, 2016 once again featured some of the best and brightest designs as inspiration to us all. Some of the projects selected include:

10) Client Specific ‘Boutique’ Greenroofs & Greenwalls – a perennial favorite category, 2016 includes the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus) – giving metaphorical life to the blind in Venice-Mestre, Italy. The two extreme points of the trapezoidal 12m high walls seem about to touch each other, reminiscent of The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. The entry to the eye transplant and stem cell research facility opens to stepped gardens and greenroof, and is surrounded and located over a large on structure greenroof over the parking garage. In Bogotá, Colombia, the “Seedkeeper” guards culture and biodiversity. The small Terracita Organica (Organic Terrace) embraces urban ag in heart of the city and ensures native plant survival. Run in secret and part of an underground movement, the rooftop seed reservoir preserves heritage and provides food security for Colombia: retrieving seeds, recovering knowledge, recovering memory.

9) PreFab Modular Homes are Fabulous – The “3box” system in Paris adds prefabricated elements on top of and between existing buildings. The low income housing system does not require the purchase of sites; instead, the right to build is obtained in exchange for renovating existing buildings. Tangier Bay in Morocco is a modular social housing project with adjustable greenroofed habitats. Buildings are equipped with loggias and terraces with several functions: provide beautiful views of the ocean, facilitate natural ventilation and allow natural lighting through.

8) Earth-Sheltering for Sustainable Site Design – The Great Wall of WA in northwest Australia is a serpentine structure encompassing 12 homes sharing a rammed earth façade. Rammed earth extracted from the local clay pans, pebbles and gravel quarried from the river bed are the palette of materials that blend into the landscape. The Wasit Nature Reserve outside of Sharjah, UAE, is a former waste-water and landfill site transformed into a visitor center. The earth-sheltered site is now home to 350 different bird species, as well as a landing zone for over 30,000 migrating birds.

7) Gardens in the Clouds: Stacking & Stepping with Vegetation – ‘489-539 King Street West’ is a current redevelopment scheme in Toronto and will be a staggered cubic ziggurat with verdant rooftop sky gardens. The 500 stepped apartments on top will cover the lower floors of mixed-use. The Marina One in Singapore is a current multi-use project with luxury condos. Stacking and stepping internally, its inner core forms a 3-D void dripping with vegetation. This ‘Green heart’ is the largest public plaza in the CBD; and, the building footprint is penetrated by air wells and slots to ensure natural ventilation.

6) LID Strategies: Celebrating Water with Greenroofs, Rain Gardens, Stormwater Catchment & Beyond – The highly innovative blue-greenroof Cira Green at Cira Centre South is Philadelphia’s first elevated park which also aggressively manages stormwater 11 stories up. Placed below the greenroof paving, “Pancake Cisterns” are thin detention cisterns which capture rainfall and release it gradually to the adjacent planted areas via a system of Sutro weirs. The 2.9 acre site of the Center for Sustainable Landscape, part of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, is Net Zero Water and Net Zero Energy. Designed with multiple LIDs, it’s the first and only building to meet 4 of the highest green certifications: Living Building Challenge, world’s most rigorous green building standard; LEED® Platinum — tied for highest points awarded under version 2.2; first and only Four Stars Sustainable SITES Initiative™ (SITES™) for landscapes project (pilot); and the first and only WELL Building Platinum project (pilot).

5) Innovative Greenwalls: Stretching Design & Our ImaginationThe Global Change Institute is the University of Queensland’s landmark zero-carbon, six-star collaborative hub which generates more energy than it consumes. It has paneled greenwalls over the indoor air-conditioning vents designed to draw and expel air through the plants in order to maximize dust and VOC reduction giving a biological treatment to air in the building as well as providing amenity. Naman Retreat the Babylon in Ngu Hành Son, Da Nang, Vietnam, boasts a building façade combining concrete louvers with interspersed greenery and the wire-trellised green wall provides a visual barrier to enhance the privacy of the resort. The harmonious mix of greenery, natural stone and bamboo provide a perfect atmosphere that enable the guests a maximum body and mind purification and relaxation.

4) Educational Facilities as Green Living Laboratories – Completed this year, the National Health, Wellness and Learning Center at Community School 55 in the South Bronx is a School Garden to School Cafe Site by the Green Bronx Machine. Headed up by educator and administrator Stephen Ritz, a Global Teacher Prize Finalist who donated his $25,000 winnings to refurbish an area of the 100+ year old reclaimed school, it is NYC’s 1st elementary-workforce development school and training for residents. Facilities include indoor and outdoor gardens, robotics, a 100% mobile classroom kitchen with broadcast capabilities, solar and pedal power stations, and computer lab. In Barcelona, Spain, a series of vertical edible gardens designed and implemented by landscape artist Marc Grañén informs and creates an urban network of biological info vital for understanding natural biological rhythms of the city. He received support from the environmental department of the Barcelona City Council and School Agenda 21, with the collaboration of Obra Social La Caixa.

3) España: A Progressive Líder in Green Design –The new Joan Maragall Library in Barcelona preserves open space and gardens by moving them up to the roof, creating a new social hub. The architects decided to create a terrace and place the library program underneath, while the greenroofs now constitute the new garden known as the ‘Garden of Light.’ La Calahorra Green Wall in Elche addresses the challenge of combining a coffee shop within a vertical garden with the complexity of a structure attached to a historic building, built in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century. The addition of the robust living wall created a destination and new landmark with 3,000+ plants and 15 species of five different families, mostly endemic to the Mediterranean region.

2) Sky Farms on the (High)Rise – The Farming Kindergarten Dongnai in Vietnam has a continuous looped greenroof used as both a large, safe playground and as an agricultural area for the adjacent shoe factory workers’ children. It grow five types of vegetables planted in an experimental 200 m2 roof garden for agriculture education and also serves as a prototype of a sustainable, low-budget education space in a tropical climate. “HYPERIONS” in Jaypee, India are garden towers of agroecology and sustainable food systems growing up around 6-multi use wooden and timber-framed towers. Double objective of energy decentralization and food deindustrialization. The architect claims that converting worldwide agriculture into organic techniques and bio-sourced construction could reduce worldwide CO2 emissions by about 40% by 2030.

1) Skyscraping Sky Gardens on Roofs, Walls & Skybridges – The Mile is a conceptual design for the world’s highest vertical park and public observation deck at one mile (1,609 meters) offering a natural ecosystem, eventually covered with plants and greenery and inhabited by hundreds of animal species. The architect says “Imagine you take New York’s Central Park, turn it vertical, roll it and twirl it.” Adding to transformation of New York City’s skyline is The Spiral, is a 65-story office tower that is fully wrapped in a cascading ribbon of lushly planted terraces, hanging gardens and soaring atria. Its architect states “The Spiral will punctuate the northern end of the High Line, and the linear park will appear to carry through into the tower, forming an ascending ribbon of lively green spaces, extending the High Line to the skyline.” And finally, Forest City in Iskandar, Malaysia to be completed by 2036, is a $40.9 billion masterplan to be new global cluster of commerce and culture. Set to be south-east Asia’s largest mixed use green development and the world’s largest greenroof system, it will consist of a rooftop network of interconnected parks and gardens.

I presented the 2016 Top 10 List solo at this year’s Cities Alive Conference in Washington, D.C. since Haven couldn’t make it, and you can see the entire “ 2016 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2017” video at our upcoming 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit coming in April.

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

Video & Project of the Week for November 30, 2015: ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall

December 3, 2015 at 12:56 pm Project of the Week: 11/30/15


ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall
Fukuoka, Japan
1,049,406 sf. Greenroof


Project Description & Details

Situated in the middle of Fukuoka City, Japan, ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall is a center of international, cultural and information exchange and underneath lies over one million square feet of multipurpose space. Designed by Emilio Ambasz, a pioneer of ecological architecture, the nearly 100,000-square-meter park in the city center was transposed by the architect onto 15 stepped vegetated terraces of the ACROS or “Asian Crossroads Over the Sea.” The very green design provided a solution for a common urban problem: reconciling a developer’s desire for profitable use of a site with the public’s need for open green space. The plan for Fukuoka fulfills both needs in one structure by creating an innovative agro-urban model.

Its north face presents an elegant urban facade with a formal entrance appropriate to a building on the most prestigious street in Fukuoka’s financial district. The south side of the Hall extends an existing park through its series of terraced gardens that climb the full height of the building with growing media depths ranging between 12″ and 24″. Along the edge of the park, the building steps up, floor-by-floor, in a stratification of low, landscaped terraces. Each terrace floor contains an array of gardens for meditation, relaxation, and escape from the congestion of the city, while the top terrace becomes a grand belvedere, providing an incomparable view of the bay of Fukuoka and the surrounding mountains. A stepped series of reflecting pools upon the terraces are connected by upwardly spraying jets of water, to create a ladder-like climbing waterfall to mask the ambient noise of the city beyond. Open to the public, ACROS Fukuoka emerges like a lush green mountain and its green stepped garden exterior has become a new landmark for the city.

Find more photos and additional information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.


Year: 1994
Owner: Dai-Ichi Mutual Life Mitsui Real Estate
Location: Fukuoka, Japan
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 1,049,406 sq. ft.
Slope: 2%
Access: Accessible, Public/Private


Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Conceptual Design: Emilio Ambasz, Emilio Ambasz and Associates, Inc.
Associate Architect: Nihon Sekkei
Landscape Architect: Takenaka Corporation
Construction: Takenaka Corporation
Engineer: Takenaka Corporation
Engineering Consultant: Plantago Corporation
System Manufacturer: Katamura Tekko Company
Emilio Ambasz and Associates Photographer: Hiromi Watanabe


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall 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 profile.

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 Cities in the World” Book Available Now

May 8, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Green Cities in the World Book Available Now

Green Cities in the World

Although the newly published Green Cities in the World book will officially be launched at the World Green Infrastructure Congress (WGIC) 2014 in Sydney, Australia on October 7-10, 2014, it is now available for purchase in paper book and PDF.

Available Now

Edited by Julián Briz, Manfred Köhler, and Isabel de Felipe of WGIN – the World Green Infrastructure Network, Green Cities in the World is a compilation comprising 23 authors, including myself.

Green Cities in the World Book Available Now

The World Expo Zaragoza, Spain. Source:; Photo Courtesy: ZinCo

“The book Green Cities in the World is the result of a convergence of interest from individuals and public and private institutions looking to provide the urban society with a reference publication of a diversity of main topics and opinions from the green urban market. It has been edited by WGIN and PRONATUR.

The mix of academics, practitioners, entrepreneurs, and professionals in this publication leads to fruitful interactions and provides new insights into green urban development of the world. The publication has 16 chapters and 25 national stories, from 23 authors and 241 photos.

The book is structured in four scenarios: Economy, Sociology and Policy; Environment; Architecture and Technical; and National Stories.” ~ Green Cities in the World Editors

Green Cities in the World Book Available Now

Cook+Fox Architects’ 8th floor penthouse in Manhattan. Source: Photo Courtesy of Green Roof Blocks.

World Green Infrastructure Network Project

The first book project by WGIN, the huge effort was spearheaded by Professor em. Polytechnic University of Madrid Julián Briz, and Associate Professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid Isabel de Felipe.  Both are board and founding members of WGIN from PRONATUR – Sociedad Española para la Naturación Urbana (Spanish Society for Urban Greening).

The 358-page book has a very interesting mix of contributors including non-WGIN members green architect Emilio Ambasz, Singapore’s Dr. Puay Yok Tan (with Ho Wan Weng), Michigan State’s Dr. Brad Rowe, PhD. candidate Kelly Ksiazek, and myself.

Multiple Contributors

Green Cities in the World Book Available Now

The Golisano Institute for Sustainability. Source: Photo Courtesy of Green Living Technologies International (GLTi).

In addition to chapters from Julián Briz (with Jose M. Duran and Kerstein Röhrich), WGIN  President Manfred Köhler, and Isabel de Felipe (with Teresa Briz), WGIN authors include founding board members Steven Peck of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, Matthew Dillon of Green Roofs Australasia, Brazil’s João Manuel Linck Feijó (with Renan Eschiletti Machado Guimarães and Luis Alberto Suárez Correa) and Japan’s Hajime Kozhimizu.  Additional WGIN member authors include Ho Wan Weng (with Dr. Puay Yok Tan), Colombia’s R. Andres Ibáñez Gutierréz, Poland’s Ewa Piatek-Kozuchowska (with Dr. Jan Lukaszkiewicz), Hong Kong’s C. Y. Jim, and Denmark’s Dorthe Rømø (and WGIN Green Ambassador).

Green Cities in the World is a thoughtful and important, heartfelt combined effort from dedicated professionals across many disciplines on many facets of international green building, urban greening and in particular, of course, the living architecture of greenroofs and greenwalls.   The spread and depth of topics and perspectives are unique and truly enlightening, full of keen observations, detailed research, project applications, and further reading.

Awesome Photos

Brimming with spectacular color photos from around the world (many which I supplied from’s various esteemed colleagues and advertisers – thank you!), they beautifully illustrate key points and projects.

Green Cities in the World Book Available Now

A pioneer in rooftop agriculture, Brooklyn Grange is a 40,000 square foot commercial farm located above a six-story building in the dense urban environment of Queens, New York. Photo © Andy Kropa.

Linda Velazquez’s Contribution

I wrote about a subject near and dear to‘s heart: Green Cities in the World Chapter 5 – Greenroofs & Greenwalls in the New Millennium: The Influence of the Age of Technology through Online and Social Media. An except is included below:

“The rise in popularity of vegetated roofs and walls is no doubt due in part to advances in information technology and the rise of multi-media exposure.  Beyond the traditional print, radio and even television venues, the power to reach, inform, and influence the masses at all levels of age and socio-political-geographical backgrounds from around the world has never been greater with the advent of the Internet.  According to Internet World Stats, by December 31, 2000, the Internet had 360,985,492 users worldwide and by June 30, 2012 the amount had exploded to 2,405,518,376 users. With Asia leading the way with 1,076,681,059 users, followed by Europe (518,512,109), North America (273,785,413), Latin America / Caribbean (254,915,745), Africa (167,335,676), the Middle East (90,000,455), and Oceania / Australia with 24,287,919, this figure represents a 566.4% growth rate (Internet World Stats, 2013).

Ecommerce, entertainment, the rapid diffusion of news and events, along with Email, instant messaging, social networking, texting, video calling over Wi-Fi and Skyping, is not only possible, but expected at the touch of a keyboard or mobile devices.  Our views of culture, social relationships, and how we interact in the world of e-business have forever changed through electronic media and smart devices.  The Internet has altered the way we do business forever – surfing the net has become a way of life around the world. ” ~ Linda Velazquez in Green Cities in the World

Order Online

As in many first-print editions, the paper copy of Green Cities in the World has some typos and photo caption errors.  All of the ones I caught were amended in the PDF version and will appear in the second printing of the book, too.

Green Cities in the World Book Available Now

2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Village. Source:; Photo Courtesy of Vitaroofs International Inc.

The paper copy cost is 40 € Euros plus shipping and handling costs, and the digital copy is 25 € Euros.  Order directly online here or from:

Editorial Agrícola Española

Email questions to: or

Hopefully you’ll order a copy of this fine book, and we’ll see you in Sydney this October with many, if not all, of the authors for the official Green Cities in the World book launch!

Green Cities in the World Book Available Now

Follow @greenroofsaus on Twitter.

Happy reading,

~ Linda V.