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EXPLORE GREEN ROOFS IN NYC

As of 2016, there were 60 acres of green roofs in New York City. Green roofs are found on residential, commercial, city, state, and institutional buildings, including universities and major facilities like the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. While this may sound like a lot, green roofs account for less than a tenth of a percent of the city’s roughly 1 million rooftops, which is about 40,000 acres of underutilized space.

Explore Green Roofs in

Your Neighborhood

Credit: TNC with leading the mapping of NYC Green Roofs and the USL Dataviz team for bringing the latest data on green roofs into the USL Dataviz Platform.Treglia, Michael L., McPhearson, Timon, Sanderson, Eric W., Yetman, Greg, & Maxwell, Emily Nobel. (2018). Green Roofs Footprints for New York City, Assembled from Available Data and Remote Sensing (Version 1.0.0) Data set. Zenodo.

Example Green Roofs in NYC

The seven-acre sedum green roof is the largest green roof in NYC. It absorbs up to seven million gallons of stormwater run-off annually and has reduced the facility's annual energy consumption by 26 percent. Used by 29 bird and five bat species and home to thousands of honeybees, the green roof has become a sanctuary for wildlife on Manhattan’s West Side. View the Javits Center Sustainability Report.

Jacob K. Javits Center

Kingsland Wildflowers has a wildflower meadow and sedum green roof on several levels, creating a  green oasis in an industrial area along Newtown Creek in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Since the first section was installed in 2016, it has become a crucial component of the community’s overall environmental restoration efforts and a vibrant community and educational space.

Located on top of the St. George Ferry Terminal, the Living Roof is 7,000 square feet used for producing edibles that are distributed to nonprofits that work with homeless shelters. The green roof also acts as a classroom for students, who help plant, cultivate and harvest produce.

The Staten Island Living Roof

The rooftop farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a commercial urban farming business, manages the rooftop farm, which yields about 35,000 pounds of fresh produce annually. The farm also provides co-benefits to the Navy Yard, formerly the largest shipbuilding facility in the U.S. and now home to a diverse array of businesses.

Brooklyn Navy Yard

The Green Roof Environmental Literacy Laboratory, the largest NYC  public school green roof, sits atop of the New York City public elementary school PS41. This green roof, completed in 2012, provides students with hands-on opportunities to learn about ecology, urban farming techniques, chemistry, and biology.

NY PS41

The Rockefeller Center Roof Gardens are considered the first modern green roofs in the United States. These dramatic gardens are aesthetically pleasing and consist of four large green roofs each spanning 12,000 square feet.

The Rockefeller Center Roof Gardens

A 135,000-square-foot sedum green roof on top of the Barclays Center, a sports and event venue, helps absorb sounds and lower high energy costs while providing environmental benefits such as stormwater retention in a dense Brooklyn neighborhood.

Barclays Center

The VICE headquarters has a 20,000-square-foot semi-intensive green roof that combines vegetable gardens, a wildflower meadow, and social space for its staff. The company’s food-centric channel, Munchies, experiments with recipes using ingredients harvested from the garden.

Vice Media NY Headquarters

The green roof on the Five Borough Administrative Building for the NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation, on Randall’s Island, acts as a research and education laboratory for testing new green roof systems and partnering with universities to collect and analyze data on green roof environmental benefits.

Five Borough Administration Building

The University Center at The New School was constructed in 2014 and includes a sedum rooftop bordering the sixth-floor balcony. The green roof contributes to the building’s Gold LEED certification. It mitigates stormwater and reduces energy costs while providing teaching opportunities for classes such as Green Roof Ecology.

The New School

One of New York City's largest green roofs can be found at the USPS Morgan Processing and Distribution Center in Manhattan. Initially constructed to reduce energy costs, the native vegetation used on the green roof creates a diverse ecosystem and a social space for staff.

US Postal Service, Morgan Processing & Distribution Center

NYU's Center for Spiritual Life building includes a 3,700 square foot green roof that hosts a variety of native New York plant species. A second neighboring green roof is at NYU's Law School. NYU has also incorporated green roof design in course offerings and curriculum.

New York University

Green Roof Survey

Do you have/work on a green roof? 

Help the NYC Green Roof Researchers Alliance (GRRA) understand the state of green roofs in NYC.

The information you supply will be used to analyze the benefits and types of green roofs in NYC.

 

 

Green Roof Tours

Javits K. Javits Convention Center

Register for tours on the Javits K. Javits Convention Center- tours are free but spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages

During the growing season, Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages hosts school group visits and a variety of events open to the public.

 

​Brooklyn Grange

Brooklyn Grange’s Long Island City rooftop farm has seasonal tours and hosts events and workshops that cater to New Yorkers interested in sustainability, connection with nature, and local farming.