Rooftop Gardens: A Feasible Method for Urban Sustainability in the UK?
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Urbanisation is causing cities to expand and increase in density. As this happens, nature is removed from urban areas and replaced with concrete, slate and metal surfaces; carbon emissions increase; the Urban Heat Island Effect is exacerbated and habitats are lost; so solutions need to be found to attain urban sustainability. This study examines whether rooftop gardens can provide benefits economically, environmentally and socially to urban areas and stakeholders in the UK; it considers if rooftop gardens can be easily installed in urban centres; and identifies future developments which may enhance rooftop gardens’ ability to improve urban life. By conducting nine interviews in London, Manchester and Edinburgh with Architects, Gardeners, an Ecological consultant, a Museum Manager and Head Chef of a Restaurant, this research has demonstrated that rooftop gardens can provide social, economic and environmental benefits for urban areas and their inhabitants; that significant barriers can prevent the wider establishment of rooftop gardens; and that future developments can create innovative solutions to many barriers. Although rooftop gardens can not be considered feasible methods for urban sustainability at present, they have the potential to improve urban sustainability in the future with the help of funding and improved logistical planning.