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    4 Green Roofs You Can Visit in Philadelphia

    Green roofs captured the public’s attention as places to hang out in the middle of a city.

    Dating back to ancient times from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to Viking-age housing, green roofs have returned as a popular trend in recent years due to their environmental and social benefits. Green roofs add energy efficiently by insulating buildings to be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Green spaces provide natural habitat and filter pollution. Also, unlike regular roofs, they absorb rain, mitigate water runoff, and allow for natural drainage, part of a larger citywide Green City, Clean Waters initiative.

    A more aesthetically pleasing alternative to conventional roofs, green roofs are simply really cool! Green spaces have been shown to improve people’s moods and are beautiful additions to the city.

    Here are four green roofs right here in Philadelphia that you can see IRL.

    4 Green Roofs You Can Visit in Philadelphia

    1. PECO Green Roof

    The largest green roof in Pennsylvania is the 45,000 square feet installation on the PECO building. Built in 2009 on top of the 8-story building, the green roof captures about 1.6 million gallons of rainwater each year, about of total 60% to 70% of rainfall during growing season.

    How to Visit: This green roof is not regularly open to the public, but PECO has teamed up with the Philadelphia Horticultural Society to offer tours. Visit on the third Tuesday of every month from April to October at 5:00 PM. Tour price is $5 for PHS members and $10 for the general public. Find information here about PECO green roof tours.

    2. Cira Green

    Hidden atop an 11-story parking garage, Cira Green is a rooftop park that is open to the public 7 days a week. This unique University City park has been growing in popularity as the perfect addition to taking advantage of vertical spaces.

    How to Visit: If an 11-story high park can’t get any cooler, this one also hosts a beer garden every Friday during summer months. Check it out on their calendar along with other exciting public events like yoga and live music performances.

    3. Cloud9 Rooftop Farm

    Parks and spaces are not the only kinds of green roofs, there are also rooftop farms like Cloud9. By taking advantaged of unused space, rooftop gardens can serve the community with local fruits and vegetables. Located on top of the Guild House West senior residence, the Cloud9 Rooftop Farm has a partnership with the residents. Volunteers grow crops and herbs for sale in local food markets and for donation to food banks.

    How to Visit: Check out volunteer opportunities to experience rooftop urban agriculture and be a part of Cloud9’s mission.

    4. Free Library Green Roof

    As part of the Philadelphia’s goal to be a leading green city, the Parkway Central branch of the Philadelphia Free Library was built to feature a 5,000 square foot green roof. It now contains more than 5,400 plants in about 100 cubic feet of soil and can be viewed from the Skyline room on the fourth floor of the library.

    How to Visit: This green roof is not generally open to the public but stay determined! Keep an eye out for library events hosted on the roof, and private bookings are also available.

    Readers, any green roofs we missed? Tell us in the comments.


    Photo: Cloud9 Website

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    Marie Bouffard

    About Marie Bouffard

    Marie is a senior at Villanova University studying communication and sustainability. She lives for hiking, camping, skiing, and any outdoor activity. Marie is a coffee addict, loves reading, and has never met a cat or dog she didn't like.

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