Throughout New York City, Rooftops Gradually Get Greener

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Studies have shown that a significant majority — 88% — of homeowners view their homes’ exterior as one collective entity rather than the sum of its parts.

Apparently, those in charge of some of New York City’s most prominent buildings and landmarks seem to think so, too.

Atop Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, a new initiative has begun to turn the arena’s roof into a giant green dome that hosts a variety of grasses, flowers and other plant life.

According to a May 13 St Louis Post-Dispatch article, planners say the three-acre green expanse that will soon cover the Barclays Center roof won’t just improve the building’s aesthetics — it will also act as an effective noise barrier to dull the sound produced by loud concerts and Brooklyn Nets games.

The roof's covering of soil and plant life will also be able to soak up some 2 million gallons of rainwater like a sponge, relieving some of the pressure on city storm water drains
The roof’s covering of soil and plant life will also be able to soak up some 2 million gallons of rainwater like a sponge, relieving some of the pressure on city storm water drains

The roof’s covering of soil and plant life will also be able to soak up some 2 million gallons of rainwater like a sponge, relieving some of the pressure on city storm water drains. Sadly, the rooftop oasis won’t be open to the public, as its dome shape creates steep angles and curves that make it treacherous to navigate — but it can still be admired from afar.

“We’re very excited about the green roof because it will add additional texture and color and send an extraordinary message about urban areas as innovative, sustainable and attractive,” MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and CEO of Forest City Ratner Cos., the company that constructed the arena, said.

In Manhattan, meanwhile, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center recently received a green roof of its own. According to Curbed.com, the seven-acre expanse of plant and bird life that covers the Javits Center serves as a centerpiece of the ongoing revitalization on Manhattan’s west side, particularly the Hudson Yards district.

The Javits Center’s green roof was part of a four year, $453 million upgrade that also saw improvements to the building’s stunning lobby, a glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei — the king of glass pyramids.

With more of New York’s major buildings installing lush, green rooftops, who knows which landmark will develop a garden atop its roof?

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