Green roof: habitats facing climate change and biodiversity crisis

Project leader: Johannes Rüdisser (Department of Ecology)

Project members: Andrea Ganthaler, Stefan Mayr, Friederike Barkman (Department of Ecology), Florian Westreicher (Public Relations), Peter Huemer (Tiroler Landesmuseen)


Duration: 2022-2025

In view of climate change and the biodiversity crisis, the sustainable and life-friendly design of urban spaces is of great importance - both in Austria and globally. In cities, the mainly unused roof surfaces account for 30-50% of sealed surfaces, which is why green roofs and facade greening are increasingly being propagated as an important contribution to sustainable building. The structural advantages of green roofs, such as the retention of rainwater or insulation against heat and cold, are well documented. However, the contribution of green buildings to the promotion of biodiversity as well as the effects of extreme climatic conditions (such as heat and drought) on the green roof vegetation have so far been insufficiently investigated.

In the project "Green Roof Habitats" we investigate together with the participating schools

  1. what contribution green roofs can make to improve biodiversity,
  2. whether green roofs in the Alpine region can persist in the long term in view of climate change and the associated extreme weather events, and
  3. which modern methods for surveying insect diversity are particularly useful in the context of Citizen Science.

Through investigations in the immediate vicinity of the school, reference is made to the reality of life of the pupils involved. In this way, even complex topics such as biodiversity, climate change and genetic methods can be taught in a practical way and awareness is raised for global change related issues. In addition to the schools involved, owners of green roofs can also participate in the research by reporting private green roofs in a database and carrying out simple observations (e.g. of blooming flowers and butterflies).

Additional informations:

Newly created habitat on a flat roof

Newly created habitat on a flat roof

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In Sparkling Science projects, scientific institutions cooperate with educational institutions and partners from business and society

Transpiration measurement with porometer

Transpiration measurement with porometer

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