If we look at climate adaptation of the city of Leiden, the main goal is not to fight nature, but to work together with it. While climate is changing, life in the city changes as well. The more extreme weather causes floods, droughts, higher and lower temperatures and the city cannot always handle this. That is why it is necessary for the city of Leiden to adapt to the climate. One way to do this are green roofs. If you do not know what a green roof is, watch this video to know all the basics.
Green roofs can solve a lot of problems that climate change brings. Green roofs absorb water during heavy rainfall, so that sewers do not overflow. Green roofs keep the inhabitants cool during the hot summer and most of all, it keeps people dry. Also green roofs can provide a habitat for wildlife to increase biodiversity and it can increase the air quality in cities (Oberndorfer et al. 2007). Green roofs mean less consumption of energy because it keeps you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summers.
Green roofs will become also more economically attractive in the future. Now a green roof is in comparison with a traditional roof 10-14% more expensive at a life span of sixty years. If the climate keeps changing and extreme weather will occur, the green roofs will become more and more attractive to prevent flooding and extreme heat in cities because of saving money on energy consumption and other techniques to prevent flooding (Castleton et al. 2010). There is an initiative in Leiden to get more green roofs. It is called Groene Daken Leiden and helps citizens to get subsidies for green roofs. It is based on an initiative of Amsterdam and it is making great progress. If you want more green roofs in your neighborhood you can ask them for help to get subsidy. Then you can help Leiden to adapt to the future in a more sustainable way for only a small fee. In the picture below you can see a project they did at the Boerhaavelaan in Leiden.
The benefits of green roofs are endless for the environment and for the people living under them. Green roofs are a great way to get more green and plants in the city and increases the aesthetic value of neighborhoods. Green roofs are also a great method to reduce noises and living in a busy city this can be of great value! Green roofs does not demand a lot of maintenance. Only in periods of drought is it necessary to water your roof, but even a dryer roof will keep all it functionality and benefits (Getter & Rowe 2006).
Leiden is a very dense build city and has a strong heat island effect. This means the temperature in the city is on average 3 degrees Celsius higher than in rural areas. With rising temperatures because of climate change this can cause a lot of problems for the city, such as droughts and higher mortality rates during heat waves. If we want to keep the city a nice place to live, things have to change for future generations. Green roofs can provide a solution to make Leiden future-proof!