Friday, January 19, 2007

Building Queens Green

From this week's Queens Chronicle:

Let’s Build Green

Dear Editor:

With an unseasonably warm winter to kick off 2007, it is unfortunate that most developers in Queens continue to ignore rising environmental concerns, building cheap and ugly brick boxes for future generations of businesses and residents. With the notable exception of Silvercup Studios, most privately owned rooftops in Queens remain covered in tar and gravel. Most apartments and shopping centers also have flat rooftops, and they are not aware of the benefits and incentives that come with vegetative roof covers, rainwater collection and solar panels.

Following the successful use of “green” architecture at the Queens Botanical Garden and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, our city should continue to set an example by renovating thousands of acres of city owned rooftops, such as public schools, libraries, police stations and housing projects with vegetative covers and solar panels.

Aside from the savings in energy costs, green rooftops can transform the ugly black rooftops into grassy meadows, restoring nature without compromising the need for growth. Among my favorite childhood memories was sunbathing and taking in the city views on the “tar beach” atop my Rego Park apartment building. Eventually, an alarm was installed and I was resigned to the pollution and noise of Queens Boulevard from my first floor window. With green rooftops, apartment residents can once again return to the open spaces, sunbathing and panoramic views that I once enjoyed. With the right incentives, maybe developers and landlords will take green architecture more seriously, benefiting the hundreds of thousands of apartment dwellers, as well as future generations of Queens residents.

Sergey Kadinsky,
Forest Hills


Anonymous said...

So they cut down 200 year old trees and do not give us parks, but do give us back grass on the roof.

Yea! Yea! Yea!

Anonymous said...

I thought all the roofs on new development are touted as recreation areas. That's all we need. A muddy field on the roof after a rugby team tears it up. A hot day, and it becomes hard as concrete. A gust of wind, and you have a sandstorm.

Thank heavens we can always retire to the street. It might not be cleaned, but at least all those SUV's present a tidy appearance in a sea of asphalt.

Anonymous said...

I repeat my message: The only time that the color "green" will be considered in any building projects are the "greenbacks" which are often "kicked-back" (in one untraceable sub-rosa form or another) to some of our most "illustrious" City Councilmembers! Hey, I'll bet that your "ears are burning" right now (you guilty ones) because this blog is doing a great job of acting as the consience that you ought to have!