Chicago plan would pay for 'green roofs'

May 24, 2006

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley wants to pay building owners an incentive to create "green roofs" by planting gardens on top of their buildings.

The plan, scheduled for introduction during Wednesday's Chicago City Council meting, is designed to draw attention to the benefits of green roofs, Connie Buscemi, a city spokeswoman told The Chicago Tribune.

The plan, if approved, would match each building owner's rooftop investments up to $100,000.

Supporters of the green-roof plan say the benefits include the collection of rainwater that otherwise flows into the city sewer system and the absorption of summer heat, thereby cooling surrounding areas and reducing air conditioning costs.

The roof of Chicago City Hall became green in 2001, a project that resulted in a substantial reducing of the rooftop temperature, Buscemi told the newspaper.

More than 200 buildings have since become green, with Chicago now having more green roofs than any other U.S. city, the Tribune said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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