Summer 2019

Newsletter Archive


Edmonton Ecoroof and Climate Change Resiliency Initiative

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As cities develop, natural landscapes are replaced with buildings, roads, and other infrastructure. City centres that typically have vast amounts of impervious cover due to high density development experience higher temperatures, challenges with retrofitting for stormwater management, limited opportunities to improve biodiversity, habitat, and green spaces are looking for innovative ways to shift from grey to green. Ecoroofs (or green roofs) have been an approach used in Europe for decades and more recently in North America to mitigate some of the loss of natural landscape functions within a city centre context.

The City of Edmonton recently completed Climate Resilient Edmonton: Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. As a result of that work, the City of Edmonton is now exploring ways to proactively address Edmonton's adaptation for a changing climate. One initiative the City of Edmonton is exploring is ecoroofs (green roofs). The Miistakis Institute is working with the City of Edmonton, Environmental Strategies team to investigate the role ecoroofs might play in the context of climate change resiliency and adaptation.

The purpose of the ecoroof research project is to learn how ecoroofs in Edmonton could contribute to climate change adaptation, and what drivers and barriers may exist for developing ecoroofs in Edmonton. This research will help to inform evidence-based programs or policy decisions for actions identified in Climate Resilient Edmonton by the City of Edmonton, at a future date. To date, Miistakis has completed: a Jurisdictional Review of other municipalities that have an ecoroof policy program; an Ecoroof '101' brochure to introduce the concept of ecoroofs; and a Function Research report to outline the environmental impacts ecoroofs could potentially have in an urban setting. To view these items, as well as a pre-recorded presentation outlining the project, please visit our project page.

A stakeholder engagement workshop was held in Edmonton on May 28, 2019, with 39 stakeholders attending, representing 9 different sectors: Municipal government, provincial government, post-secondary institutions, non-profits, and various private industries (building operations, engineering, landscape industry, roofing industry, development). The purpose of this workshop was to share findings of the research, and explore the opportunities and barriers of developing ecoroofs in Edmonton. A report on workshop outcomes and recommendations will be available in the near future.

Stakeholders from the workshop were also invited to attend an Ecoroof Tour in Edmonton on June 17 and visited 3 different roofs, including:

  • Terwilliger Recreation Centre (City of Edmonton)
  • Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (University of Alberta) (above photo)
  • Ted and Lois Hole Healing Garden (Royal Alexandra Hospital)

Further research is being conducted for the Edmonton context, and once the project wraps up, the project team will consider the feasibility of developing an Ecoroof policy and incentive guide for municipalities in Alberta.

Thank you to our funders for supporting this work: Edmonton Community Foundation, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, and Federation of Canadian Municipalities.