Locus Focus on 03/29/10
CAN URBAN ROOFTOPS PROVIDE HABITAT FOR WILDLIFE?
Much of our urban landscape is paved over or covered with buildings, creating an environment that is the antithesis of nature. Rooftops and asphalt flush rain water into storm sewers, overburdening and polluting our rivers. Portland is fast becoming a leader in promoting vegetated rooftops to capture stormwater. Is it possible to go even further and actually create functional wildlife habitat on buildings that will help birds, bats, bugs and other animals as they traverse our urban landscape?
This week on Locus Focus our guest are Dusty Gedge, an international authority on ecoroofs, and the ecoroof expert for Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Tom Liptan. We'll talk about how we can transform the rooftops of downtown skyscrapers, industrial warehouses and even our own residences into wildlife habitat. Could thousands of acres of grey industrial warehouse rooftops in the Columbia Corridor be converted to meadows for rapidly disappearing meadowlarks and streaked horned larks? Could the tops of our downtown skyscrapers provide migrating songbirds with a source for insects and a place to rest? What can we do on top of our own houses to support local wildlife?
International authority on ecoroofs, Dusty Gedge has been campaigning to get green roofs installed for biodiversity in London for over 15 years. He currently Director of Livingroofs.org the UK's independent greenroof organization and the current President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations. He is recognized as a leading authority on green roofs and biodiversity and has written a number of papers and articles on the subject over the years. He also wrote a seminal paper that lead to the introduction of the green roof policy in the Greater London area. In 2005 he won the Andrew Lees Memorial Award at the British Environment and Media Awards.