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Miistakis Institute: Edmonton Ecoroof Initiative for Climate Change and Resiliency

Miistakis Institute: Edmonton Ecoroof Initiative for Climate Change and Resiliency

Prepared by Kelly Learned and Holly Kinas

The Edmonton Ecoroof and Climate Change Resiliency Initiative is a research project being led by the Miistakis Institute in partnership with the City of Edmonton. The purpose of the project is to explore the potential for an ecoroof policy program as a strategy for climate adaptation by gathering research, engaging stakeholders and identifying potential key motivators for a policy program.

This research and stakeholder engagement will inform potential strategies and actions in alignment with the City’s climate change adaptation strategy, Climate Resilient Edmonton: Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan.

What are Ecoroofs?

An ecoroof, also known as a green roof, vegetated roof, rooftop garden, or living roof is an extension of an existing roof which involves high quality waterproofing membrane, root repellent system, drainage system, filter cloth, lightweight growing medium (soil), irrigation system, and plants. Some designs might also involve a water feature. Ecoroof implementation involves the creation of "contained" green space on top of a structure. This green space could be below, at, or above grade.

Ecoroofs provide ecosystem services in urban areas including improved stormwater management (both quantity and quality), better regulation of building temperatures, reduced urban heat island effects, and increased urban wildlife habitat and biodiversity (Oberndorfer et al., 2007). Some jurisdictions refer to ecoroofs as a ‘no-regrets’ climate adaptation measure (Mees, Driessen, Runhaar, & Stamatelos, 2013) because they serve multiple societal goals.