Budget yields…roof gardens!

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Brenda Konkel highlights the amendments to the city budget.

Not surprising is the amendment added by Michael Schumacher and budget hawk Jed Sanborn to postpone construction of new Central Library until the city can secure funding, including through private donations.

However, the amendment added by Mike Verveer, Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, Brian Soloman, Satya Rhodes-Conway and Marsha Rummel harkened back to calls made by the Badger Herald Editorial Board in years past:

“In their evaluation, development and deisgn of the new Central Libary, City staff is directed to study and consider the feasibility of inclusind either a rooftop intensive community garden and/or a green roof.”

Roof gardens are the wave of the future. Not only do they provide a sink for the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, but they make ideal driving ranges (a golf ball never hurt anybody). Unfortunately, Mayor Dave is worried about the potential costs.

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2 Responses to “Budget yields…roof gardens!”

  1. Kristin Czubkowski Says:

    From my conversations today, I think Ald. Michael Schumacher is the lead sponsor of the library amendment and Sanborn is a co-sponsor.

  2. Paul A. Says:

    I actually passed a prospectus on to Bryon earlier in his term about utilizing roof gardens. Yes, they do absorb CO2, but they also:

    *Provide excellent insulation, and act as a better heat sink than tarpaper. Cities are notorious heat islands.

    *Reduce noise pollution. Soil and plants absorb sound waves better than flat, hard surfaces like gravel or tarpaper.

    *Provide habitats for native species. Not only can we put native plants in these gardens, but we can attract native birds back to the area as well.

    *Clean rainwater. Soil, and the permeable surface usually beneath it, will absorb heavy metals and phosphates that seem to be endemic to our rain. The roofs will act as first-round filters for rainwater before it reaches our treatment plants.

    These things will pay for themselves over time. With all the construction that goes on in Madison, we should be making it a requirement that new buildings have a rooftop garden when feasible (for example, the research center on University, the Hospital expansions, whatever new high-rise apartments are going up, and the new UW museum and Humanities when built).

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