This fantastic article by Catherine Hansen discusses the benefits of green roofs in urban settings, and what this could mean for the MENA region specifically.
Let’s take it one step further. What if we calculated a potential budget for a pilot project for green roof installations in a major Middle Eastern city, say Marrakesh, Cairo or Baghdad? What would be the potential impact of such a pilot project? Could something as simple as plants on rooftops help to ameliorate the effects of climate change?
The Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region is known for heavy urban pollution and inefficient water usage. It is home to 6.3% of the world’s population, but possesses only 1.4% of the world’s renewable fresh water resources (see World Bank for stats). Furthermore, there is an overwhelming lack of sustainable energy use in the region. This, coupled with incredible urban populations/sprawl, spells trouble in the sustainability department. Maybe Hansen’s idea is one worth pursuing. More on this later.