Do small green roofs have the possibility to offer recreational and experiential benefits in a dense urban area? A case study in Helsinki, Finland.


Submitted by Marja Mesimäki on December 10, 2018 - 3:55pm
Growing and densifying cities set challenges for preserving and enhancing sufficient and good quality green urban environment. Rooftops offer vacant room for additional urban greening that may contribute to the well-being of people and the liveability of cities, but this potential lacks empirical support. In spite of the fact that even small green spaces produce, for example restorative experiences, the literature concerning the experiential and recreational benefits of green roofs is still scarce. To identify the experiential potential of a small urban green roof we explored restorative and other experiences of 178 people visiting a sparsely vegetated green roof in the centre of Helsinki, Finland, using a questionnaire. We showed that the studied green roof provided restorative and other positive experiences to the visitors. The level of perceived restorativeness was relatively high. In addition, the results revealed multiple perceived qualities that reflected visual as well as other sensory experiences, beauty, suitability of the place for oneself and the urban context, nature, desire to explore the place and interestedness, positive excitement, and safety. Furthermore, answers to the open questions revealed a wide range of other observations and feelings, such as peace, joy, excitement and hope. Our study indicates that even a small and rather ascetic accessible green roof has potential to offer a moment of respite in the middle of urban everyday hassle, thus implying that these kinds of solutions may allow for a pinch of beneficial green in places where more diverse and lusher solutions are not possible due to, e.g. the load capacity of a roof.
Citation
Mesimäki M., Hauru K. & Lehvävirta S. (2018). Do small green roofs have the possibility to offer recreational and experiential benefits in a dense urban area? A case study in Helsinki, Finland. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2018.10.005
Resource Type
NbS Actions
NbS Ecosystem
NbS Region