Susana Toboso-Chavero: “Urban rooftops will aid cities to produce their own resources”
The implementation of the roof mosaic in housing estates would improve the resource self‐sufficiency of the residents. This is clear from a study carried out by the Sostenipra research group at ICTA-UAB, which highlights the need for boosting new urban spaces of resource production in sites that face social and economic needs.
Housing estates, that is, mass social housing on middle‐ and high‐rise apartment blocks, in urban areas are found all over the world with very similar constructive patterns and a multiplicity of environmental and socio‐economic problems.
In this regard, such areas are optimal for the implementation of a roof mosaic which involves applying a combination of urban farming, solar energy, and harvesting rainwater systems on unoccupied roofs. This urban strategy was proposed in a typical housing estate in the Barcelona region with 66,433 m2 of unused rooftops.
Based on residents preferences five future scenarios for the municipality were proposed, resulting in different combinations of photovoltaic panels, open-air farming, rooftop greenhouses, green roofs and rainwater harvesting.
These rooftop scenarios were found to improve the resource self‐sufficiency of housing estate residents by providing 42–53% of their vegetable consumption, 9–35% of their electricity use, and 38–200% of their water needs depending on the scenario.