This one interested me. Like any good article, it got me thinking.

If you have ever been to New York, seen pictures or watched any movie with an iconic NYC opening scene then you know that this vertical city is famous for its tall buildings and views from the 80th floor.

But since reading this, my photographs capturing the essence of NYC’s skyline now show an amazing amount of wasted space of unproductive roof tops.

The passing of New York’s Sustainable Roof Laws will change that, requiring new and renovated buildings to include a sustainable roof zone on 100% of the available space!

With options of solar PV electricity generating systems, green roof systems or a combination of both, it is great to see positive dialogue open for alternative use for this space.

However, we are now faced with the tough decision of which is better- a green roof or a solar roof?

Tough one. Both have great positives so IS one system better than the other?

Green roofs are interesting.  They provide social benefits, storm water management solutions and protects roof membranes.

They also reduce heat which is a huge factor in a city that falls victim to the urban heat island effect. Green roofs would boost biodiversity in NYC, offering an alternative urban ecosystem to many displaced species.

On the other hand, solar systems generate renewable, contributing to the city’s ambitious emission goals. Solar systems are easier to construct, especially on sloping roofs where green spaces can not exist.

Financial benefits for solar are also prominent as tax incentives are well established in NYC which may sway many.

Is combining the two systems the best option? Solar panels even operate better at a lower temperature, conditions that green roofs can provide.

It is unclear how this debate will pan out, but the most important thing is seeing action taking place as public officials, property owners, architects, real estate agents and financiers are revving up to putting new policies into practice.

‘A huge step in the right direction. It’s a game changer.’ - Marni Majorelle, Founder of ‘Alive Structures’.

This welcomes new questions and solutions on how to manage new regulations designed to drive drastic changes in the city. A sustainable make over will no doubt open dialogue on alternative sustainable methods and legislation as well as transforming the world’s most famous skyline view.

Perfect excuse for another trip to NYC in the future!