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

Read Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition’s Report of the Urban Forest in the Greater Toronto Area

June 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Report Urban Forest in GTA

We recently returned from our first Grey to Green Conference in Toronto at Ryerson University, presented by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), where Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition‘s Report of the Urban Forest in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was released.

The Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition (GIO) is a collaborative alliance of not-for-profits organizations, community groups, businesses and local governments, including GIO steering committee member Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, working to sustain green infrastructure across Ontario.  Their mission is to bring organizations together to share information and collaborate for improved green infrastructure policies and programs across the province.

“We’re thrilled to release this report, which represents the collective efforts of 17 local and regional governments. Together, they have established baseline data which will be critical to managing the urban forest into the future. Most importantly, they all used the same protocol, which allowed us to compile it into this GTA-wide report.” ~  Janet McKay, Chair of Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition


Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Report Urban Forest in GTA

85% of trees in the GTA are small compared to only 40% in a healthy urban forest.

Summary of main findings:

  • 34.2 million trees provide 26% canopy cover in the GTA;
  • Replacement cost of these trees and shrubs is $14.2 billion;
  • $70 million is the estimated value of the 2.7 million tons of carbon stored;
  • $36.5 million is the estimate annual value of air quality improvements;
  • $20 million is the estimated annual value of energy savings;
  • 113,000 tons of carbon is removed every year – this is equivalent to the emissions of 23,000 passenger vehicles;
  • 4,000 tons of pollution removed from the air annually (including 2,300 tons of ground level ozone);
  • 10% of tree population is Ash (3.2 million trees). We have already lost a large number of them to EAB;
  • 54% of trees are made up of four species (Maple, Cedar, Ash, and Buckthorn);
  • 85% of trees are small (diameter less than 22.9 cm);
  • 37% of trees are on residential property, 18% on commercial industrial, 25% on open space, agriculture and natural area, and 20% on institutional, transportation and other;
  • The underlying studies were conducted between 2005 and 2014.

Read the Executive Summary and the Full Report.

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Report Urban Forest in GTA

It’s an important landmark tool for folks committed to improving green infrastructure in the Ontario area, and certainly serves as a wonderful resource for the rest of us.

Getting back to the 4th Annual Grey to Green, in addition to seeing great presentations and panels on green infrastructure and climate change and visiting the Trade Show, we had a fantastic time and must give kudos to everyone at GRHC and their collaborators who put together another impressive conference!

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Report Urban Forest in GTA

We mingled with old friends and acquaintances such as the ever-lovely: Virginia Russell from the University of Cincinnati (and her lively mother!), Tracy Jackson from GRHC, Hamid Karimi with the DC Department of Energy and Environment, David Yocca of Conservation Design Forum, Kirtin Weeks of Arup, Sara Loveland and Ashleigh Uiska (whom we hadn’t seen in years because she has been in the UK having some beautiful babies!) of Annette Environmental, and of course Steven Peck and his better half, the wonderful Joyce McLean – among many, many, more.  We also met some great new ones, too, including Kara Orr, the new Marketing Coordinator with GRHC and Chaoyue Zhao, GRHC’s Conference & Training Coordinator, whom we finally got to meet face to face.

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Report Urban Forest in GTA

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Report Urban Forest in GTA

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Report Urban Forest in GTA

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Report Urban Forest in GTA

Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of our living architecture colleagues at future green infrastructure conferences and catch up on what’s happening in your neck of the woods!

~ Happy reading,

Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP Publisher

Call for Submittals on Kinetic Living Architecture

January 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

By Linda S. Velazquez Publisher

The Journal of Living Architecture (JOLA), a Green Roofs for Healthy Cities publication, has issued a Call for Submittals for manuscripts for the special topic issue of Kinetic Living Architecture.

What does this entail?  Mobile, movable, and kinetic forms of living architecture.  This is a great opportunity for you to share your research:

“This themed issue will profile the current state of projects, describe research findings, and deliver commentary to advance our understanding of living architecture that possesses movable traits or specific kinetic characteristics for green roofs, biofilters, screens, and walls. All submittal and dissemination will proceed within the Journal of Living Architecture’s current, peer-reviewed, open access format.” ~ JOLA Call for Submittals


Submission Categories:

Commentary articles challenge or present an opinion on an issue of concern to the living architecture industry, or discuss a manuscript previously published in the JOLA. [1500-2500 words]
Ideas at Work describe novel ideas, innovative programs and new methods of interest to professionals. [1500-2500 words]
Tools of the Trade report on specific materials, books, techniques and technologies useful to professionals. [1500-2500 words]
Research in Brief manuscripts summarize research results of importance to living architecture professionals. The focus of a Research in Brief manuscript is more specific than a Feature. [1500-2500 words]
Feature manuscripts discuss concepts and research findings of particular significance to living architecture professionals and to the living architecture knowledge base, methodology, practice and organization.
Visuals drawings, maps or graphic communication that represents living architecture knowledge. (exploratory section).

Contact Info:

Journal of Living Architecture
For all inquiries contact Reid Coffman, MLA, Ph.D., JOLA Special Issue Editor and Co-Editor in Chief at:

Important Dates:

Notification of Interest: March 1, 2016
Manuscripts Due: June 1, 2016
Projected Publication: Fall 2016

Although the JOLA is published exclusively on GRHC’s Living Architecture Monitor magazine website, we certainly want to help to spread the word to our research community!

~ Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP

Only Two Weeks Left for the Virtual Summit 2015! See the “ 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015” by Haven Kiers & Linda Velazquez Now

May 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm

We hope you have you been participating and gaining insight from our third biennial:


Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2015 –
Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture:
People, Projects & Design

You still have two weeks to engage with your fellow living architecture colleagues and watch over 12 hours of informative and high-spirited video presentations from 33 global experts and leaders online:

Now all Video Presentations, Q & A Transcripts & Exhibitor Booths are On Demand + Networking is Live 24/7 through May 31, 2015


Register here for only $49 or $25.  Earn CEUs including 10 GRP CEUs.

New!  As you probably now by now, in celebration of the Virtual Summit 2015 we are highlighting each of the 23 awesome videos from our spectacular speakers on our Sky Gardens Blog by gauging their 5 Key Learning Objectives.  If you haven’t yet, peruse the New Series to see each one’s crucial benefits and find out if you just can’t miss watching the entire video, for example with Dr. Ken Yeang, one of our distinguished Keynotes:


1. Ken’s philosophy, ecological design agenda, and specifics regarding architectural devices of the Solaris, National Library of Singapore, and the EDITT Tower (the Ecological Design in the Tropics) among others;

2. How he was influenced early on from studying under Ian McHarg at the University of Pennsylvania;

3. The concept of “ecomimicry”…  See the rest here.

See the Agenda to learn about all of the presentations.  Once in the virtual environment, just click on any of the Public Group Chats in the Sky Gardens Lobby, Rare Earth Auditorium, or the “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere!” Networking Lounge to chime in.  Or invite your peers to a private chat anywhere, any time.


Register to support our work!  These video presentations will not be made public for at least one year – with one exception:  Watch the collaborative 43:43 video “ 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015” by Haven Kiers and me on our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2015 channel on YouTube or below, now public:


So what are our own 5 Key Learning Objectives?

1. Become familiar with the latest design trends in living architecture!;

2. Regarding built projects, understand highlights of the project drivers and the design process;

3. If conceptual, explore the design inspiration and local context – feel the energy of the designer for the design!;

4. Receive additional designer resources and information for each project;

5. As usual, be dazzled and inspired by the amazing projects and have fun!

The Expo Pavilion featuring our Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Association Partners remains open on demand through May 31, 2015.  Continue to visit each company and organization, watch their videos, gather take home info, and connect with the reps.


Thank you for the support from our visionary Rare Earth Sponsor Tremco Incorporated plus our:

Diamond Sponsors: Bonar/Xero Flor and Green Roof Outfitters

Exhibitors: Green Living Technologies International and Sunlite Science & Technology

Industry Partners: AEC Daily, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, and the International Green Roof Association


Learn more about the Virtual Summit 2015.

We feel the virtual sharing platform is so important and beneficial to our community and industry. By removing the barriers of travel, huge investments of time and money – not to mention your carbon footprint – the financial playing field is leveled, allowing easy access to awesome people, projects, and design at your leisure.

Don’t miss joining in on the conversation. It’s about connecting and social networking across the entire globe, and the Virtual Summits are the wave of the future!

We hope you and your colleagues will support our work and join us during this very special online event through May 31st – the next Virtual Summit will be in 2017!

~ Linda V.

Learn more about these awesome video presentations and their 5 Key Learning Objectives at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015:

“A Green Building Should Look Green, Which Means Hairy!” by Dr. Ken Yeang.

“Biodiversity in the Sky – How Green Roofs Can Be Designed as Wild Life Refuges” by Dr. Stephan Brenneisen.

Green Roofs to New Cities” by Dr. Diana Balmori.

“A Higher Purpose – Benefits to Human Health and Education through Green Roofing” by Elizabeth Hart.

“Beyond Extensive and Intensive: Defining the Comprehensive Green Roof” by Molly Meyer.

“Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge.

“From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark.

“Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross.

“Greening the World Inside and Outside” by Mark Paul.

“Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by Graham Cleary.

“Pollinators on the Parapets” by Angie Durhman.

“Small Scale Green Roofs” by Dusty Gedge and John Little.

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin.

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 2 with Patrick Carey and Darius Jones.

“Soil Ecological Processes on Green Roofs: Research and Observation Meet Theory and Intuition” Inspiration Nook Video by Christine Thuring.

“Stewardship of Rooftop Ecosystems” by Michael Furbish, Brad Garner, and Dr. Whitney Griffin.

“The Development of Revolutionary Large Scale Vegetated Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Foundation of a New Industry” by Pablo Atuesta.

“The Great Green Roof Review: Success & Succession” by Jenny Hill and Terry McGlade.

Only Two Weeks Left for the Virtual Summit 2015! See the “ 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015” by Haven Kiers & Linda Velazquez Now.

“Two Extremes in Waterwise Design from Denver, Colorado and Athens, Greece” by Andrew Clements and Karla Dakin.