Momentum for Change The future of green roofs in Egypt

Focus areas: Mitigation; Adaptation
Location: Giza, Egypt
Established: September 2011Cairo is Egypt largest city, with a population of 11 million inhabitants, as with any large urban location, it is suffering from the environmental problems that this sort of population and growth brings. This activity would install green-roofs, which are seen as an effective strategy to solve these problems. Green-roofs are literally that agricultural growth that takes place on the rooftops mainly in urban areas. These roofs have many benefits, including mitigating urban heat islands, improving energy efficiency in buildings, reducing storm water runoff and increasing biodiversity. They can also enhance the lifespan of roofs.

Mitigation / Adaptation


Potential for scaling-up and replication

This activity is expected to aid in mitigation of air quality problems as well as help with electricity supply/demand. Air quality measurements in Cairo have shown dangerous levels of lead, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and other matters due to unregulated vehicle emissions and urban settlements. The Ministry of Electricity and Energy recently began to institute power cuts as a means of trying to conserve energy and meet the growing demand. Green roofs, by making buildings much more energy efficient, may help with energy conversation as well as help with air quality issues. 

Green roof technology offers a wide range of social and economic benefits. Some of these include: storm water management, reductions in airborne particulate matter as well as moderation of the urban heat island effect. As a result of these mitigations, communities will gain economic, health and environmental advantages from this.

A significant portion of the activity will involve retrofitting existing buildings. It has already been shown that retrofitting for green roofs works in other countries and that knowledge would be transferable to an Egyptian context.

In Egypt, soil-less agriculture is already used to grow plants on the roofs of buildings. No direct planting process on the roof itself, instead the plants are grown on wooden tables, providing a fresh and healthy source of food. These green-roofs could spread in the country, responsive to climate change issues. Moreover, many schools are already using this technology.