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Green Roofs on NYC Overview Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 5th, 2022

Problem Statement

Considerable progress in comprehending the relations between greenhouse gases and the severity of weather events has been seen in the past few decades. Research demonstrates that anthropogenic warming accelerates the rate of heatwaves, and dynamical models of forecasting depict this pattern will persist longer (Tewari et al. 1). With the exponential increase in urban population, many challenges such as pollution, especially air, water, and noise, urban heat island, and global warming will likely ensure due to insufficient vegetation places. It can certainly be affirmed for such areas that the scarcity of greenery leads to a notable surge in the environmental temperatures, thereby affecting the thermal comfort situations of indoor surroundings. Therefore, the application of greenery systems in building roofs remains one of the leading strategies for curbing the effects of growing urban heat islands, as witnessed in New York City.

Goals and Objectives

The adoption of green roofs is increasingly gaining acceptance in urban housing designs. The new intervention has not only become instrumental in addressing some of the key environmental challenges but also brought along economic gains. Vegetation systems are regarded as one of the leading solutions to realizing sustainable and livable cities having minimal disruptions from urban heat island-associated concerns. Foliage’s presence principally consisting of green roofs is increasingly being embraced as part of building’s architectural designs.

From this perspective, incorporating recommended plants into buildings in cities can enhance the quality of municipal surroundings (Tewari et al. 3). Such green systems will better air and water quality, provide dense vegetation cover in town settings, stormwater management, carbon emissions management, and reduce heat island impacts.

Apart from the profound positive impacts on the environment, vegetation systems offer additional advantages to the community, such as economic and social elements while improving the aesthetics of the town and valuations of real estate. Consequently, by utilizing various green systems, it is possible to alter the micro-climatic status of current structures in eco-friendly and cost-effective ways (Tewari et al. 5). Town settings, which already grapple with urban heat islands, will continue to suffer unless suitable strategies are adopted. Consequently, the goals of this research are to evaluate the effects of vegetation through green roofs on urban heat islands in New York and Phoenix. Specific objectives of the study include:

  • To evaluate the connection between heat waves and urban heat islands, as well as their mitigation through green rooftops in Phoenix (PHX) and New York City (NYC).
  • To offer a pragmatic assessment of green roofs in managing urban heat island-associated concerns.


Due to the indecision of future town designs forecasting for New York and Phoenix, the study presumes that the metropolitan features of both cities will not change significantly. The adoption of green rooftops aims to address the effects of urban heat islands. Moreover, rising levels of greenhouse gas and their negative consequences on the environment are emphasized by many nations, prompting the development of innovative designs and solutions for buildings to reduce such effects (Besir and Erdem 916). To verify the extent of the impacts of roof foliage systems in minimizing associated urban heat islands, researchers narrowed down on the heatwave that occurred in North America in 2006. Since the heatwave was severe, it led to the loss of more than 100 lives.

Cities experienced more resolute conditions due to the engagement of heat waves with the urban heat island. The study also measures the urban greenery stations in these two cities to demonstrate the outcome of diverse urban land use. The study also incorporated numerical experiments and model setups to investigate the association of urban green roofs and urban heat islands in the regions of interest, NYC and PHX (Tewari et al. 10). Therefore, the study assesses urban heat islands’ intensity in a future climate and the influence of green rooftops in mitigating the negative consequences.

State-of-the-Art Review

Given rooftops are separated from one another, such scenarios’ oasis effect is accounted for in the building design for enhanced efficacy. Studies by McCarthy and Oleson examined anthropogenic heat radiations and urban geometry on the intensity of urban heat islands. Both Santamouris, Wang, and Yang established the effectiveness and popularity of green roofs in mitigating the adverse effects of urban heat islands (Besir and Erdem 916).

Moreover, Besir and Erdem (917) show the significance of green roofs to both the environment and the building itself. The benefits range from lowering greenhouse gas discharges, enhancing city water quality, and reducing the risk of flooding by holding excessive water to reducing air pollution and associated urban heat island impacts. It also helps in absorbing noise pollution, averting acid rain by escalating PH value, and improving the health of city dwellers.


Simulations carried out in the study employed an advanced research version. The adopted model of weather examination and projecting combined with the canopy concept expand the illustration of various urban developments (Tewari et al. 2). Through these popular concepts, the study explored the influence of green roofs in alleviating urban heat islands. The simulation method was performed in a three-kilometer plane spatial resolution for an enhanced realistic depiction of surface heterogeneity.

The study applied a double-nested strategy to concentrate on NYC and PHX regions. In the manifold nested approach, the outer domain included a plane grid positioning of about fifteen kilometers. The insets comprised a double nested classical domain placed over NYC and PHX, both having straight resolutions of roughly three kilometers. The models were conducted for 22 incessant days coupled with performing four numerical simulations (Tewari et al. 2). Because of the doubt about future city design projections for NYC and PHX, the researchers presumed the urban features of both municipal areas might not alter for upcoming climate scenarios except by adopting green roofs.

Data Collection

The research gathered data through the simulated numerical model to gauge the effects of green rooftops in reducing urban heat islands within Phoenix and New York cities.

Data Presentation

Data for this research was presented through:

  • Charts
  • Tables
  • Graphs

Data Analysis

Data analysis reveals an effective interaction between climate change and urban heat island intensity, which is expressly dependent on the environment and local climate. For instance, the findings show that green roof vegetation is a vital element in comprehending the relations. A warm climate can make urban heat islands increase in New York more than in Phoenix since the former has a substantial dry urban environment (Tewari et al. 3). The green roofs strategy proved an effective measure in offsetting the urban heat island in the city.


The interaction of heat waves and urban heat islands and their mitigation through green rooftops in both Phoenix and New York cities was investigated using numerical simulations and observations. A key outcome is that a warm climate increases the interactions between heat waves and urban heat islands. Using the green roof technique can significantly be employed to eradicate urban heat islands (Tewari et al. 14). Moreover, green roof systems serve as energy-saving outfits in edifices while also offering multifunctional advantages such as thermal insulation and comfort, evapotranspiration, and wind blockage potential. The cities should encourage building owners to adopt green roofs for the enhanced realization of the benefits.

Next Step

Evidence presented in the study shows the effectiveness of green roof technology in offsetting urban heat islands coupled with other benefits. Therefore, it is highly recommended for most cities to consider adopting this strategy (Tewari et al. 15). Moreover, a limitation in the investigation is that NYC and Phoenix have different city vegetation and morphologies. Nonetheless, the study employed similar urban vegetation and morphological parameters in investigating these two cities.

The limitation was encompassed since the modeling of NYC, and Phoenix nested domains happened under one parent purview. Although the effect of employing similar town parameters and greenery systems is unfamiliar, the researchers trust that the comparative consequence of the communication of urban heat islands and heatwave in these municipalities would remain identical. It is believed that even in future climatic scenarios, the inferences would remain unchanged.

Therefore, with this positive correlation between green roofs and management of urban heat islands, local authorities should, moving forward, attempt to institutionalize and even expand rooftop vegetation systems in NYC and PHX by approximately 10% (Besir and Erdem 936). The move will help in minimizing the effects of local temperatures, which have been projected to rise in the future from many anthropogenic activities in cities.

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"Green Roofs on NYC Overview." IvyPanda, 5 July 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/green-roofs-on-nyc-overview/.

1. IvyPanda. "Green Roofs on NYC Overview." July 5, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/green-roofs-on-nyc-overview/.


IvyPanda. "Green Roofs on NYC Overview." July 5, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/green-roofs-on-nyc-overview/.


IvyPanda. 2022. "Green Roofs on NYC Overview." July 5, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/green-roofs-on-nyc-overview/.


IvyPanda. (2022) 'Green Roofs on NYC Overview'. 5 July.

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