How Rooftop Gardens Improves Air Quality

How Rooftop Gardens Improves Air Quality

Air pollution is one of the major threats that many urban cities in this contemporary world struggle to contain. Massive industrialization, especially in an urban setting, has set a stage where air quality in is low (Rowe, 2011). In this regard, rooftop garden is a new way that helps to improve air quality in the cities. Therefore, the green rooftop gardens hugely contribute to the reduction of many air-polluting compounds and particles. People in urban places are largely exposed to extreme levels of air pollutants, which harmfully affect the human health. Green rooftop gardens play a huge role in curbing the ground-level ozone, which is a major component of smog contributing poor air quality (Rowe, 2011). Vulnerable people in the society such as the elderly, children, and patients with respiratory and heart problems stand a risk of long or short-term exposure. The rooftop gardens are also responsible for reducing the ambient air temperature especially during the hot weather and this lowers the incidence of smog that causes low air quality (Rowe, 2011). The rooftop vegetation reduces the island heat effect, a fundamental cause of ozone production (Rowe, 2011). The temperature regulating effects by the rooftop gardens can lower the demand on the power plants, thereby potentially reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutant particles in the air.

In addition, green plants in the rooftop gardens act as filters of the gaseous contaminants as well as sticky leaves that can eliminate the particulate matter in the air (Rowe, 2011). Plants in these rooftop gardens are also essential in taking away airborne particles, heavy metals, and volatile organic particles found in the air (Rowe, 2011). These materials are harmful to humanity and may cause health related concerns. Thus, absorption of these heavy materials by the plants makes it improve the air quality (Rowe, 2011). Most cities have industries that generate greenhouse gasses, which are a grave threat to the environment and air quality. Congestion in the cities has created a situation where there is little space for growing trees. Rooftops offer perfect solutions where vegetation can be grown to eliminate greenhouse gas releases and air pollutants through dry deposition, carbon sequestration, as well as storage (Rowe, 2011). Thus, plants will lower the carbon dioxide present in the air and release oxygen thereby improving the air quality. The process is also essential in filtering the noxious gasses (Rowe, 2011).

How Rooftop Gardens Improves Health and Well-Being

Evidence-based studies have shown how rooftop gardens are vital to both health and wellbeing of individuals. People living in highly developed areas tend to be less susceptible to diseases or illnesses especially when they have rooftop gardens (Orsini et al., 2014). The effect is not only linked to extra oxygen, humidity control, and air filtration performed by the plants, but also the therapeutic roles from caring such plants. The many smells, sounds, movements, and colors offered by plants, even though not measurable, can considerably improve human health and even wellbeing.

Studies have also shown that patients in a similar hospital, recovering from similar operations, subjected to therapeutic effects on viewing landscaped garden versus a rough brick wall, patients that viewed green landscape healed faster (Orsini et al., 2014). The aesthetic value of the garden is instrumental in this process.

Finally, green roof system serves as a buffer and insulator in lowering noise pollution that emanates from the roof. Declined noise level can offer important benefits to buildings close to highways, airports, industries, or construction sites. The decrease in unwanted sounds creates a peaceful and productive work environment (Orsini et al., 2014).



Orsini, F., Gasperi, D., Marchetti, L., Piovene, C., Draghetti, S., Ramazzotti, S., … & Gianquinto, G. (2014). Exploring the production capacity of rooftop gardens (RTGs) in urban agriculture: the potential impact on food and nutrition security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services in the city of Bologna. Food Security, 6(6), 781-792.

Rowe, D. B. (2011). Green roofs as a means of pollution abatement. Environmental Pollution, 159(8), 2100-2110.