In 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark, launched its Green Roof Policy, a forward-thinking initiative requiring new municipal buildings with roof slopes of less than 30 degrees to feature green roofs. This broad-reaching policy covers a wide range of structures, from schools and mixed-use buildings to cycle shelters and underground garages. The primary goal of this initiative is to bolster climate resilience, promote urban biodiversity, and enhance the overall well-being of Copenhagen’s citizens. The policy has been remarkably effective, leading to the creation of over 40 green roofs and covering approximately 200,000 square meters within the first two years. Spearheaded by the City of Copenhagen’s Environment and Technical Administration, this initiative stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to environmental sustainability and urban innovation.
Thematic Area – Climate change adaptation
Thematic Sub–category – Green Urbanism related
to Energy consumption
Type of Actor/Agent – Government
Typology of Green Urban Site – Green roof or wall.
Green City Elements:
- Green Urbanism
- Green roofs and walls
- Buildings and Climate Change
- Green roofs and walls
- Green areas and Heat Island Effect
- Smart Environment
- Co-creation in Urban Planning
- Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Engagement and Consultation:
Target Groups – Citizens, homeowners
Public Engagement – n/a.
Consultation Tools Used – n/a
Innovation and Impact:
Initiative stands as a pioneering approach in urban sustainability, being the first in Europe to mandate green roofs in a city’s climate plan. The innovation lies in its wide applicability across various building types and its integration with the broader Cloudburst Management Plan to address climate change challenges like increased stormwater volumes. This policy differentiates between lowmaintenance extensive roofs and recreational intensive roofs, offering a nuanced approach to urban greening. Its success has set a precedent for urban climate adaptation worldwide, combining environmental, social, health, and economic benefits in a comprehensive urban sustainability model.
Expected Impact High
Level of Scale of Innovation 4
Budget and Analysis:
Budget Spent, Source of Money: Local council and private investments.
Benefits: Environmental benefits like improved rainwater retention and reduced urban heat, enhances social well-being through recreational green spaces, and offers economic advantages by reducing infrastructure costs related to stormwater management.
Challenges: High maintenance and costs associated with intensive green roofs, the complexities in implementing these roofs across diverse urban structures, and the need for effective rainwater management and ecological sustainability within this broad initiative.