Éco-Conception des ensembles bâtis et des infrastructures
Eco-design of buildings and infrastructure
The green roof dilemma
Theme: green roof
Urban ecosystems are the most complex mosaics of vegetative land cover that can be found. In a recent paper, Francis and Lorimer (2011) evaluated the reconciliation potential of living roofs and walls. For these authors, these two techniques for habitat improvement have strong potential for urban reconciliation ecology. However they have some ecological and societal limitations such as the physical extreme environmental characteristics, the monetary investment and the cultural perceptions of urban nature. We are interested in their results and support their conclusions. However, for a considerable time, green roofs have been designed to provide urban greenery for buildings and the green roof market has only focused on extensive roof at a restricted scale within cities. Thus, we have strong doubts about the relevance of their use as possible integrated elements of the network. Furthermore, without dynamic progress in research and the implementation of well-thought-out policies, what will be the real capital gain from green roofs with respect to land-use complementation in cities? If we agree with Francis and Lorimer (2011) considering that urban reconciliation ecology between nature and citizens is a current major challenge, then “adaptive collaborative management” is a fundamental requirement.