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September 28, 2013

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Shouting green message from rooftops

GREEN spaces in Shanghai are set to reach new heights — quite literally — with the announcement of incentives to encourage more roof gardens.

Rooftop greenery projects will be eligible for tax reductions and low-interest loans, among other measures, under revised policies, the city’s greenery and urban landscaping administration said yesterday.

Officials are seeking to increase Shanghai’s rooftop green spaces as these contribute to energy saving and environmental protection.

“We hope to break through current policy barriers,” said Lu Yuexing, director of the administration, speaking at a Shanghai People’s Congress meeting to consider the city’s ecological development

The regulations will also strengthen construction monitoring and specify punishments for violations, said Lu.

These are among rules to be revised by the city’s legislators, added the official.

In a further plan, “three-dimensional gardening” — which includes rooftop gardens and green walls — is scheduled to become standard in environmentally designed residential buildings by 2020.

Roof gardens can reduce energy costs by cooling and insulating buildings, said officials. They also offer environmental benefits, purifying the air, reducing dust, noise and carbon dioxide while producing oxygen.

By the end of 2012, Shanghai had 1.45 million square meters of green roofs — 15 times the size of People’s Park.

However, 20 million square meters of roofs in urban Shanghai is suitable to be topped with plants, said officials.

This year, Shanghai aims to add another 300,000 square meters to its three-dimensional gardening area.


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