Designing with Nature and Not against It: Translation of the Spanish Interview with Linda S. Velazquez in El País

September 29, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Diseñando con la naturaleza y no contra ella: Entrevista a la arquitecta paisajista Linda S. Velazquez sobre la necesidad de una arquitectura verde en las ciudades

Spanish interview with Isabel de Felipe in Berlin, originally published by El País on July 17, 2017

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Designing with nature and not against it:

Translation of the Spanish Interview with Linda S. Velazquez in El País on the need for green architecture in cities

Under the header of “Urban Beings” in the “Green Cities” section, here’s my translationOf course, they edited quite a bit and didn’t include all of my answers, but so be it.

NOTE: El País didn’t use any of the photos or graphics I sent, and in fact put one in of an interior courtyard landscape above – is it a greenroof?  I don’t know.  All of the photos below are my own placement!

Q & A Translation by Linda Velazquez

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Here in Alpharetta, GA at Rock Mill Park where I designed the Greenroof Pavilion & Trial Gardens.

Linda S. Velazquez is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), GRP, LEED AP. She is also the founder and publisher of (1999) and design consultant at her company Sky Gardens Design (2004). Linda studied landscape architecture at the University of Georgia (2000).

Linda writes and reports extensively about greenroofs and living architecture and has presented across the globe. Linda’s role as publisher affords many opportunities to promote the industry.  She has collaborated on numerous books including Green Cities in the World, Vertical Garden City: Singapore, and The Rise of Living Architecture, in addition to journals, magazines and online media.

Q: From your experience as a pioneer in the analysis and dissemination of urban green infrastructure, how do you perceive its evolution in the last few years?

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

SOLARIS, Fusionopolis (Phase 2B), One North Singapore schematic by T. R. Hamzah & Yeang Sdn. Bhd., courtesy of Ken Yeang.

A. In my opinion, I believe our green architecture industry and market continues to grow each year because of the increasing general public interest and acknowledgement of important projects along with their associated multiple benefits – both public and private. We must also recognize the accomplishments of innovative leaders within the industry and design fields, businesses, and government at all levels who have promoted the idea and its progression further.

In the last 20 years we have seen dynamic and avant-garde designs that have drawn great attention to promote the greening of the planet with the integration of green: bioclimatic, biodiversity, biomimicry and sustainability.  Of course, construction follows financial cycles and we had a few years with fewer projects completed, but many people around the world are interested in green technologies, whether renewable energy or low impact development including green infrastructure like greenroofs and walls, and much more.

Q: Who or what are the most dynamic elements?  Architects, designers, entrepreneurs, institutions, NGOs …?

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Vancouver Public Library, B.C., 1995. Currently under renovation, its new greenroof garden will be at grade with the existing maples. The top 2 floors will have a reading room, community event space, theater & public garden. Photo: American Hydrotech.

A: I think it has been a combination of experts, visionaries, and multidisciplinary professionals who have spread greenroof technology, at least here in North America.  As for early completed projects, I would have to credit collaboration between architects like Moshe Safdie and landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander with the government of Vancouver, B.C. in Canada with its spectacular Public Library (1995, currently under a major renovation to create an accessible public roof garden space).  Another innovative architect is William McDonough who worked with entrepreneurs such as the GAP in San Bruno, California (1997); the City of Chicago with its City Hall (2001), perhaps the most famous greenroof in the U.S.; and the Ford Motor Company with its River Rouge Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan (2003), which had the distinction of being the largest greenroof in the world for a few years, with 454,000 square feet.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Chicago City Hall, designed by McDonough + Partners and a multitude of multi-disciplinary professionals. Photo courtesy of Charlie Miller and Roofmeadow.

In the United States in 1997/98 the pioneers who helped me tremendously were civil engineer Charlie Miller of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; landscape architect Tom Liptan of Portland, Oregon; and the German environmental engineer Katrin Scholz-Barth who lived at that time in Minnesota.  Also, ASLA began writing on the subject during that time frame and, with thanks, I began to discover and research further, culminating in in 1999.

Q. In your presentation at the WGIC Berlin 2017 Congress, you identified the 10 most recent trends in greenroofs and walls. What are the underlying market drivers?

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

A. Each trend in greenroofs and walls has several underlying factors depending on the location of the project: variables such as the needs and desires of the public and governments or the client / owner, what type of buildings are popular or necessary, different uses of a structure, aesthetic tendencies, the weather, the available products or materials, etc.

With’s annual compilation of the most popular trends, the “Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design” (since 2007), we try to highlight cutting-edge structures and designers who are outstanding, inspiring, and magnificent – underlined by the exceptional green vegetation covering the building.

Q. What effects can green infrastructure have on the population?

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh: 1st & 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 • 1st & only Four Stars Sustainable SITES Initiative™ for landscapes project (pilot) • 1st & only WELL Building Platinum project (pilot). Photo: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

A. Instead of using “gray” infrastructure such as concrete, asphalt, or hiding rainwater in underground pipes, detention ponds, etc., designing with nature instead of against it – using vegetation and natural ecosystem services – offers a multitude of beneficial opportunities and associated effects to improve a city or locale. The integration of nature into the urban fabric produces a wide spectrum of environmental benefits for the flora, fauna and human communities of our planet.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Santalaia in Bogotá, Colombia. Photo by Groncol.

Green infrastructure’s greatest potential lies in the ability to cover impermeable surfaces with permeable plant material. Using plants with engineering systems for stormwater management results in cleaner, fresher water and at the same time reduces the volume intensity that eventually falls on the streets. This immensely ameliorates a city, which is mostly impermeable, during heavy storms, when there may be overflows of the sewer system. Green infrastructure also reduces the urban heat island effect, which can dramatically increase temperatures due to lack of trees, plants, and green areas in cities, affecting the health of many people.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Berry Architecture Office Building Green Roof, Red Deer, Canada. Bumblebee feeding on Gaillardia sp. overlooking downtown, September 2014. Photo by Cynthia Pohl.

We can re-introduce native or sometimes even endangered plants by planting roofs and walls and green facades. At the same time, this attracts wildlife back to our cities like bees, butterflies and birds. We all know that seeing and being in nature is beneficial to human beings because of biophilia, the innate attraction in our biology to connect with nature. For example, nature helps us psychologically, improves the recovery of patients, and we rejoice within its natural and open spaces.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Mashambas Skyscraper, a mobile educational center for Swahili, Africa: eVolo 2017 Skyscraper Competition Winner by Pawel Lipinski and Mateusz Frankowski.

The creation of green spaces in a city is extremely important but sometimes there is no where to build a park or vegetable garden. Why not put it on top of a public building? And we must not forget that sometimes the green infrastructure costs much less than the gray infrastructure because we are using natural systems. If the cost of building a greenroof, for example, is more expensive at the outset, it has to be understood that life-cycle costs will reduce the final cost because of lower replacement costs because it will last double, triple, or perhaps even longer. Also, the use and energy costs of the building will decrease while at the same time a fifth facade has been created for the building – a new roof or wall space previously not utilized for the use of the owner or the public.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

J.R.R. Tolkien’s vision of the idyllic Middle-Earth village home in The Shire.  Frodo’s Home, Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata, New Zealand, October, 2014. Photo by Linda S. Velazquez.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

The World’s 1st & largest Double LEED Platinum Museum: California Academy of Sciences (CAS) Living Roof in San Francisco. Photo by Tom Fox, courtesy of SWA Group.

Finally, using a variety of low impact development techniques can reconnect people with nature. When all the environmental, aesthetic, emotional, and economic benefits are added, we can see that green infrastructure offers sustainability benefits to many. Implemented on a local or intermediate scale, green or biophilic architecture can improve the health and well-being of a community, country, and our planet Earth.

Q: With your international vision, what are the most dynamic cities in the implementation of green infrastructure and what are their drivers?

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Potsdamer Platz in Berlin – a glowing example of green infrastructure! Photo by Linda S. Velazquez, June 2017.

A: It is impossible to talk about the most dynamic cities and not start with Germany in general, since many cities like Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, and others have been leaders for the last 50 years. At least 48 German cities provide financial support for greenroofs. Around 35% have integrated greenroofs as part of their regulation, establishing around 86 million m2 of greenroofs which represent 14% of the total roof area of Germany. And they have established professional associations and organizations for the study of materials and best practices, such as the FLL (Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung e.V.), FBB (Fachvereinigung Bauwerksbegrünung e.V.), and DDV (Deutscher Dachgartner-Verband), to name a few.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Oasis d’ Aboukir in Paris full bloom, one year after the plant installation, early April 2014. Photo courtesy of Patrick Blanc.

There are other numerous cities in the world that stand out with integrated green construction including Chicago, Basel, Portland, Toronto, New York, Linz, London, Paris, Mexico City, Shanghai, Washington, DC and the area, Milwaukee, Bogotá, and lately Madrid and Barcelona. American states like California and Pennsylvania have also done many projects. My favorite leader is Singapore, an island nation that currently has more than 720,000 m2 of greenroofs and over 50,000 m2 of green walls with plans for 2 million square meters of skyrise vegetation by 2030.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, by Grant Associates, Wilkinson Eyre Architects plus many more. Photo by Grant Associates.

Q: Could you provide some advice on measures we can take to improve urban dwelling?

A: We need to find or identify local leaders to talk about the topic of greenroofing and other greening opportunities and how to implement policies and strategies to encourage project stakeholders to build with green infrastructure. We still need to inform the public and various governments of the benefits so they understand the importance of protecting the natural environment and improving our construction practices using green infrastructure. As designers and other project principals we need to inform our customers why and how to do achieve this. And, we have to find ways to lower the prices of greenroofs and walls, either through industry or with the support of governmental incentives, tax exemptions, subsidies, etc. Green infrastructure should be considered first, whenever possible, within our built environment.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

1. Munich development: Connected to large park. 2. Community garden allows people to grow flowers & vegetables. 3. Most roofs covered with greenroofs, most buildings have greened balconies. 4. Open space for socializing, typically above underground parking garages. 5. Solar Garden Roofs combine to max-out environmental benefits. 6. Houses are entirely covered with PVs. Photo courtesy of Green Roof Service.

Q: The well-being of city dwellers requires action in different fields. Could you give us your opinion on the importance of biodiversity, food security, a healthy environment, water management, energy savings, and creation of green spaces and recreation?

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall by Emilio Ambasz & Associates, a perfect integration of green over gray.

A: My academic background is landscape architecture. We recognize that our Earth is limited in its natural resources, and we have to protect all of us: animals, plants, and humans. We are as one, living and sharing an ecology that is this planet. We must bestow the heritage of a healthy and sustainable land to our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The Earth is not ours to plunder, but our planet to sustain and protect for generations to come! With all my being, I believe that, in part, this is possible with architecture and design that is ecological and sustainable. Urban greening diminishes the effects of the built environment and promotes a strong and beautiful green infrastructure, flourishing and healthy.

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

NAUTILUS ECO-RESORT Biophilic Learning Center: Zero-Emission, Zero-Waste, Zero-Poverty by Vincent Callebaut Architectures, Palawan 2017, Republic of the Philippines.

Author Isabel de Felipe

Designing with Nature Linda S. Velazquez Interview El País Translation

I’m honored to have been interviewed in Spain’s #1 newspaper, El País, by Isabel de Felipe, PhD and thank her for the opportunity!

Isabel is Professor Ad Honorem Polytechnic University of Madrid, on the Board of Directors for the Center for Innovation in Technology for Human Development, and has published numerous articles and books on urban greening and agriculture for development. Most importantly, she is a dear colleague of PRONATUR and WGIN.

Isabel and her husband Dr. Julian Briz participated in our second Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 in the Spanish-language Panel “La Agricultura Urbana en Iberoamérica y España” – “Urban Agriculture in Iberia-America and Spain” along with Dr. José María Durán-Altisent, Tanya Müller García (Moderator), Dr. Gilberto Navas, and Joaquin Sicilia Carnicer – watch it on our 2013 Virtual Summit playlist.

If you’re a Spanish speaker, you can read Diseñando con la naturaleza y no contra ella yourself at in El País.

Contact Isabel at

Photo Reflections of the CitiesAlive Chicago Green Roofs “Purple Line Tour,” Oct. 2012

March 28, 2013 at 4:07 pm

All Photos by Caroline Menetre unless otherwise noted.

Not-so-recently back* (ha) from the 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference presented by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the City of Chicago

*I actually started this blog entry in November – then I don’t know what happened. Well, yes, I do – Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I have no excuse for January, and then the Virtual Summit 2013 started!

It was a great conference – as usual – with training classes, informative sessions featuring expert speakers on policy, design and research topics, trade show, receptions, parties, networking, tours, and more in the wonderful city of Chicago! I’m sure Linda will blog some more on the conference – when she can catch her breath. Verrry busy at!

Speaking of Linda – she was profiled in the beautiful book The Rise of Living Architecture as one of 50 visionaries who have fueled the explosive growth of green roofs and walls over the past decade across North America. And rightfully so!

She certainly sparked my interest years ago speaking at my greenroofs class at school.  The book is gorgeous, and there was a hectic book signing one day that we all took advantage of.

I mainly wanted to mention the great bus tour I had on Saturday after the conference to several green roofs around Chicago, and share some pics.  (More in-depth project info can be found on Projects page, and several have been highlighted featured on the Project of the Week feature.)

The Purple Line Tour was just one of several tours offered at the conference.  We left the hotel early Saturday morning with our local tour hosts Mike Curry, (Landscape Architect and Horticulturist @ Midwest Trading) and Emily Shelton (Horticulturist @ the Chicago Botanical Garden).

You could not have asked for a more beautiful day for a tour!

Evelyn Pease Tyner Interpretive Center

Our first stop was the Evelyn Pease Tyner Interpretive Center – where we were shown around by Tommy Hileman, Maintenance Supervisor w/Intrinsic Landscaping @ the Tyner Center.

Redeveloped from a former Naval Air Station, the Village of Glenview elected to preserve approximately 14 acres of remnant prairie along with 18 acres of old field buffer habitat as the Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie.  The “Inside-Out” approach integrates the building into the prairie almost as if it were an organic element.

The LEED Platinum certified building features a 4,000 sf green roof and permeable pavement, solar slates, and a geothermal system.  The use of these features, along with the surrounding native vegetation of the site, significantly reduces the amount of stormwater runoff from the site.

The Evelyn Pease Tyner Interpretive Center provides groups and individuals with educational opportunities during both formally scheduled and informal visits.  Even when closed, the Tyner Center fulfills an educational function, as interpretive signs and displays are accessible from the building’s exterior, as well as teaching gardens and walking trails, which we got to enjoy.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Next on the tour was the Chicago Botanic Garden. I was very excited about this stop since I had never been. Emily Shelton, Horticulturist @ Chicago Botanic Garden, showed us around her “home base,” naturally!

(By the way, you can see Emily in action now on the Chicago Botanic Garden green roof at the Virtual Summit 2013 going on through April 13 – she is part of the Award Winning Designers Sharing Projects & Lessons Learned video presentation.)

The Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center features a green roof that underscores the Garden’s commitment to plant conservation. Combining practical benefits with aesthetic appeal, the Green Roof Garden also provides an opportunity for research and education, serving as a living laboratory.

Serving as an outdoor classroom to thousands of Garden visitors annually, the 16,000 sf green roof is accessible to the public via a grand staircase, and an overlook with interpretive panels educates visitors about all aspects of rooftop gardens.

Two distinct areas serve specific functions: the Ellis Goodman Family Foundation Green Roof Garden South features regional and national native plants, many of which are not currently used as rooftop plants; the Josephine P. & John J. Louis Foundation Green Roof Garden North features a mix of plants known as good green roof plants, plus native and exotic plants that have potential for green roof use.

Generally, the plants are sun loving, drought tolerant, have a shallow root system, and can withstand windy conditions.

The growing medium consists of a mixture of expanded clay and shale, vermiculite, perlite and some sand with about 5% organic matter consisting of mostly mulch.  An area also contains some GreenGrid modules for easy testing.  Nesting Killdeer have established themselves on the roof along with visiting bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds.

We learned the green roof is growing and evolving after 3 full growing seasons. Despite the challenging weather of 2011 and 2012, the vast majority of the 240 taxa currently on the green roof have thrived.  While their goal is to minimize the care and resources put into maintaining the roof, they had to give the plants supplemental water once in July 2011 and twice in June 2012 during periods of extreme heat and drought.

Not surprisingly, the greatest stress was on plants in the shallow 4-inch-deep plots. But the great news is that plants rebounded quickly once they received the additional water.

Church Street Station

Next stop was Church Street Station in Evanston, Illinois.  Greg Raymond, Managing Partner w/Eco Gardens @ Church Street Station, met us on the property and took us up to the beautiful 5th floor green roof.

Focus Development wanted to build their 17-story postmodern Church Street Station Condominiums not only with beautiful interiors but also to be a place that their customers would love to call home.

They also had future needs in mind by putting in a garden roof where condo owners could go to get away from the day-to-day stresses.

American Hydrotech provided the Garden Roof Assembly, which is a seamless, hot-applied rubberized asphalt membrane that provides long-lasting protection and incorporates a minimum of 25% recycled materials along with retaining moisture, irrigating the vegetation from the underside, helping to recreate the plants’ natural growing environment on the roof.

Adding natural beauty to the 5th floor roof atop the residents’ parking structure, this 8,500 sf garden roof sits alongside a beautiful pool and fitness room.

Birch, maple and evergreen trees, tall grasses, and flowering shrubs and perennials create a naturalistic backdrop to the lush lawn and beautiful arbors, making the garden roof a benefit for the building owner, its occupants, and the whole neighborhood.

I loved this roof and think I took some great shots. The white of the birch trees, arbors and building columns were a beautiful contrast against the blue sky that day.

Uncommon Ground Restaurant

By the time we left the Botanical Garden, it was close to noon.  Our tour guides brilliantly planned the next stop to include lunch – at the wonderful Uncommon Ground Restaurant at 1401 W. Devon.  I had the pleasure of hearing Helen Cameron, co-owner of Uncommon Ground, at one of the conference tracks just a day before and I was very impressed with her, and couldn’t wait to eat at the “World’s Greenest Restaurant” and see the “First Certified Organic Roof Top Farm in the Country.”

(You can also hear from Helen Cameron at the Virtual Summit 2013 – she is part of the Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production” with Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin video presentation.)

Due to an early flight that day – I was very bummed – I had to rush through the (delicious!) lunch and tour.  But Helen herself graciously had my order put in ahead of, not only our tour, but a lot of the packed restaurant patrons so I could make my flight.  Then she gave me my own private rooftop tour – so sweet of her!

(Keep in mind when we were there in October 2012 it was the end of summer crops.)

Helen and her husband Michael purchased the property in Chicago in June of 2007, and did an extensive rehab on the single story (existing) restaurant.  It was their intention from the start to build an organic production farm on the roof, and the brick load-bearing walls were reinforced to hold steel beams, which support a roof top deck made of the composite material that is a combination of recycled plastic and wood, designed by LEED AP architect Peter Moser of Swiss Design Group.

Plumbing was brought to the roof for planter box irrigation.  Excess water from the roof is collected in rain barrels and is used to water the ground level plants.

Their menu features a wide variety of the freshest, in-season selection of veggies, fruits and herbs grown and harvested right from the roof and curbside planters. (There is also honey from their own beehives.)

Uncommon Ground also capitalizes upon its ability to grow specialty crops that are relatively unattainable by other storefronts.  Most guests flock to Uncommon Ground because the food simply tastes too good to be true! What is not grown themselves is purchased from sustainable farms in the region, with whom they develop relationships through regular visits.

Some of the organic plants that are rotated through the raised beds over time include: varieties of sweet and hot peppers, varieties of eggplant, lettuces, heirloom tomatoes, radishes, beets, okra, spinach, fennel, mustard, bush beans, and shallots.  Herbs include: rosemary, thyme, chives, garlic chives, tarragon, sage, parsley, dill, mint, lavender, basil, anise hyssop, etc…

There is so much to love about this urban eatery and rooftop organic farm – I can’t begin to mention it all.  I wish I could have spent more time and not been rushed – but all I can say if you are in the area – visit their restaurant(s)!  And also visit for their green fact sheet and more.

And while we’re on the subject of urban ag- check out – the blog by Lauren Mandel of Roofmeadow and also the book released this spring.

At this point I had to leave our Purple Line Tour and head to the airport, so I missed the last stop with Aaron Durnbaugh, Director of Sustainability @ Loyola University. (Perhaps another tour member can blog about it!)

I do want to thank Mike and Emily for heading up this tour and was so glad I got to take some time on Saturday to participate.  The tours are always such a great part of the annual CitiesAlive Conference and Trade Show.

I’m really looking forward to San Francisco!



Are you all set for the 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Chicago next week?

October 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Are you all set for the 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference at the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago next week?

Presented by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the City of Chicago, it’s going to be quite a unique experience and lots of fun as well.

Learning, Networking, and Celebrating 10 Years in our Industry!  

Here are some highlights:

You’ll experience Phenomenal Programming with some of the foremost leaders in our fields with four concurrent sessions featuring expert speakers on policy, design and research topics.   The “˜On the Roof With’ sessions provide an opportunity to learn from distinguished panelists and discuss emerging issues and opportunities with experts.

(Make sure to come to Haven Kiers’ and my 2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof &   Greenwall Design on Friday, October 19 from 2:30 – 4:00 pm.)

The Training Courses on Wednesday, October 17 are leading-edge.   Work towards your GRP or get professional education credits.

Although the walking tours have been sold out for a while, the Bus Tours on Saturday, October 20 will also be  fantastic!

CitiesAlive serves as an opportunity for numerous Committee Meetings on Wednesday, October 17 (except for the GRP Committee on October 18th) – get involved with your association!   Contact Paul Erlichman at if you are interested.

– The Trade Show is bigger and better than ever with 70+ exhibitors.   See lots of cool new exhibits and experienced product and service providers – all happy to show you their wares and discuss your next project!   Be there for the opening on Wednesday, October 17 @ 6:00 pm.

– “The Rise of Living Architecture book release will be celebrated on Thursday, October 18th from 1 – 2 pm in the Rendezvous Lounge at the Congress Plaza Hotel.   Participants include architects and landscape architects, planners, engineers, policy makers, and the manufacturers who share their dreams and aspirations for the industry.

Steven Peck says:  

“Congratulations!   The Rise of Living Architecture Commemorative Edition is upon us and it is packed with fabulous pictures by Brad Temkin, an essay by yours truly, great interviews with many industry leaders, a Forward by outstanding biophilic academic Stephen Kellhert, as well as great project images and many insights into the future!!!”

I’m quite honored to be included in this commemorative book.   You know I’ll be at the book signing, and I’ll also be giving away some of our brand new 2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendars.

Did you know that proceeds from the book will go to support ongoing training and development activities of GRHC and GIF?

The Receptions, Lunches, Parties and After-Parties will be a wonderful time to reconnect with your colleagues and see friends you haven’t seen in a year!

Visit to learn more and, if you still haven’t yet, register to learn about the future of green infrastructure and avoid on-site costs.  

See you next week!

~ Linda V.’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: October 5, 2012

October 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on through our “This Week in Review” video. Here is the transcript from October 5, 2012 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velázquez and welcome to “This Week in Review” for October 5th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the Fashion Valley Mall Living Wall, built in 2012, in San Diego, California.  Fashion Valley Mall is an upscale, open-air shopping mall in Mission Valley and is the county’s largest regional mall.  The 800 sf living wall is located in a plaza and meeting place at the main entrance to the mall and is the newest component of a $15 million renovation nearing completion at the Mission Valley venue.  The project utilized 4,000 plants with the soil-based VGM ® planting system by Tournesol Siteworks and was completed by Greenscaped Buildings.

Each plant grew for four months in a controlled area before moving to Fashion Valley Mall.  Using triangulated drip irrigation, the wall is 18′ tall and 51′ wide and utilizes 250 Tournesol Siteworks modules.  The drip irrigation system uses gravity to flow water throughout the modules.  Meant to resemble the keys on a piano, plants used include spider plants, lemon button ferns, ribbon ferns, Ajuga, moneywort and mondo grass, among others.

– To learn more about the Fashion Valley Mall Living Wall,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Rouse Management Tops Off Parman Place Apartments in Madison Wisconsin with a LiveRoof ® Green Roof.

–  Green Living Technologies International: Green Living Roof Can Reduce SYSCO Foods Annual Cooling Energy Cost by 7%.

Industry News

–  Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is pleased to announce the launch of a premium  collectable  publication that celebrates the biggest and brightest stars in the universe of living architecture.  “The Rise of Living Architecture” coffee table book features beautiful graphic profiles of over fifty visionaries who have fueled the explosive growth of green roofs and walls across North America over the past decade.  Its release will be celebrated at the CitiesAlive: 10th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference, held October 17-20, 2012, in Chicago, IL.

– Portland Bureau of Environmental Services will begin accepting applications again in October 2012 for ecoroof construction.  The City of Portland offers an incentive to property owners and developers to add more ecoroofs.  The incentive program is part of Portland’s Grey to Green initiative to increase sustainable stormwater management practices, control non-native, invasive plants, and protect sensitive natural areas.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts:  “It’s Not Too Late for the 2012 World Green Roof Congress in Hangzhou, China!,” “Congrats to the Winners of the 2012 Green Roof and Wall Awards of Excellence,” and “’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: September 28, 2012.”

– Guest Blogger

–  Also check out our new Guest Blogger, Steve Waller, who writes about “Bridging the Urban Jungle: Mile End Park.”

– “Upcoming Events

–  October 15th: is the IHDC 2012 Conference – Ecosystem Services Come to Town, in London, UK.

–  And on October 17-20 is the big one, the 10th Annual Cities Alive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Chicago!

– “In the News“

–  Tamara Hinson of Metro asks, “Could the future of the environment be found within the vertical garden?”  More and more buildings are going green and choosing beautiful vegetated facades instead of cement ones.  French botanist Patrick Blanc is one of the world’s most famous vertical garden designers and realized the potential of vertical gardening after noticing the way some plants were able to grow vertically without soil and started creating ways of using lightweight, low-maintenance vegetation walls.

One of Patrick’s most famous creations is the vertical garden at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.  The garden measures 200m by 12m high and features a wide range of plants including species native to Brazil, South Korea and the Himalayas. Toronto has plans for a Sky Farm, which will have eight million square feet of vertical growing space for crops and will bring in the same amount of produce as a 420 hectare farm.  And several buildings in Jakarta that have vertical gardens are living proof of the many benefits that come from green walls like producing fresh air, growing herbs and vegetables and reducing heating and cooling costs for the buildings.

–  Adam Thomas of the University of Delaware talks about, “Members of UD, Delaware community celebrate green roof completion.”  Not only the community and students celebrated but even U.S. Senator Tom Carper was in attendance last Friday on the new green roof.  Senator Carper said, “This new green roof project at the University of Delaware is a great example of the power of public-private partnerships.  With support from the state of Delaware, DuPont and the University of Delaware, this project is helping to lower energy use, clean the air and teach sustainable environmental practices to future generations at the same time.”

Chad Nelson, assistant professor of landscape design, didn’t want to use a membrane system but wanted a modular system consisting of 2-feet by 2-feet plastic trays that could be installed by the students and local volunteers and then moved for roof maintenance.  The green roof has heat-hardy plants including several varieties of colorful sedum, plus chives and crocus; and some of the benefits it will provide will be reducing carbon dioxide emissions, absorbing stormwater runoff, providing a living classroom for students, as well as giving them the opportunity for hands-on experience in growing and maintaining the plants.

– To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our In the News or Newslinks section of our website.

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– This has been This Week in Review for October 5th,  2012 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velázquez and I’ll see you next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by*

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.