Academic Master

Environmental Science

Rooftop Gardens And How They Impact The Environment

Cities in the United States experience environmental difficulties, which can include air and water pollution, high temperatures, and a lack of ecological biodiversity. In this case study, Bakersfield, in the state of California, was affected by pollution, evapotranspiration, and hot temperatures. Due to the hydrology of the Tulare Basin, the city experiences hot, dry summers and mild, rainy seasons (Gerrati, 2018, pg. 19).

It is one of the top ten United States cities that are polluted with 24-hour particle pollution and high ozone days. The inhabitants produce pollution from the vehicles they drive, and the geography and topography favor pollution settling in the area. The average reading of the level of particulate matter in the air shows 40.5 micrograms per cubic meter in a 24-hour. According to Minnich (2007, pg. 57), the average daily temperature in the city is 65.1°F, with the high temperature being 76.8°F and the low 53.4°F. California rarely experiences freezing temperatures. Keeping these parameters in mind, one can successfully create rooftop gardens in Bakersfield, California.

An increase in rooftop gardens can have a positive impact on the environment (Santamouris, 2014, pg 701). These gardens can combat drought in the city, climate change, high temperatures, and the emission of carbon dioxide, which is threatening the city (Santamouris, 2014, pg. 683). Rooftop gardening is appropriate for buildings that have no yard and facilitates the cultivation of ornamental trees, grasses, flowers, and plants that people can consume. A roof with a gradient of 25 degrees can be planted, and the steeper the gradient, the nearer the partitions need to be (Gray, 2015, pg. 23). A building that is covered with vegetation and a growing medium planted over a waterproofing surface support rooftop gardening (Gray, 2015 pg. 18).

According to Caputo et al.,( 2017 pg. 6)a roof garden provides food for consumption and strengthens the communities through imparting knowledge to residents and children in addition reducing the rate of pollution. Nocturnal butterflies, wild bees, hoverflies, and birds can be drawn on the locations (Caputo et al., 2017 pg. 3). The plants purify the polluted air, reduce hot temperatures, regulate the indoor temperatures, save energy, and encourage biodiversity in the city (Wong, 2003 pg 273)). The plants have a positive effect on the atmosphere by maintaining the weather and the climate of the area, hence discouraging the climate change effects (Wong, 2003, pg. 274). The cost of installing a rooftop garden is determined by various variables such as the size of the garden, accessibility of the site, and the types of plants to be grown. Depending on these factors, the cost of building a green rooftop garden can vary from $ 150 to $650 per square meter (Mahdiyar et al., 2016, pg. 324).

Rooftop gardens are efficacious in creating a friendly environment. Rooftop gardens reduce the negative impacts of the cities on the environmental conservation of energy and water (Santamouris, 2014, pg 694). The gardens improve air and water quality and regulate high temperatures. Gardens also provide habitat and create natural retreats for humans and animals (Santamouris. 2014, pg. 695).

Rooftop gardens assist in fighting pollution and climate change. The gardens purify contaminated air and cool air, reduce air conditioning costs, transform dead space into garden space, reduce smog, and improve the aesthetics of the cities. Bakersfield should adopt this strategy of rooftop gardening to bring a tremendous change in their environment.


Caputo, S., Rumble, H. and Iglesias, P., 2017. Elements of rooftop garden design. In Rooftop Urban Agriculture. Springer.

Gray, E., Baldocchi, D.D. and Goldstein, A.H., 2015, December. Impact of Air Pollution on California Central Valley Fog Frequency. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts.

Geraci, V.W., 2017. Climate, Land, Water, and Government Policies Establish California Agribusiness. In Making Slow Food Fast in California Cuisine (pp. 17-32). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Mahdiyar, A., Tabatabaee, S., Sadeghifam, A.N., Mohandes, S.R., Abdullah, A. and Meynagh, M.M., 2016. Probabilistic private cost-benefit analysis for green roof installation: A Monte Carlo simulation approach. Urban forestry & urban greening, 20, pp.317-327.

Minnich, R.A., Barbour, M.G., Keeler-Wolf, T. and Schoenherr, A.A., 2007. Climate, paleoclimate, and paleovegetation. Terrestrial vegetation of California,, 43, p.70.

Santamouris, M. (2014). Cooling the cities-a review of reflective and green roof mitigation technologies to fight heat island and improve comfort in the urban environment. Solar energy, 103, 683-703Wong, N. H., Chen, Y., Ong, C. L., & Sia, A. (2003). Investigation of the thermal benefits of the rooftop garden in the tropical environment. Building and Environment, 38 (2), 261-270.



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