Philadelphia Hosts CitiesAlive 2011: Annual Green Roof & Wall Conference

In case you haven’t heard, Philadelphia has been chosen from hundreds of cities to host CitiesAlive 2011: the latest and greatest iteration of the only conference in North America devoted to the art and science of green roof technology. CitiesAlive can help people and businesses reduce their emissions, save on energy costs, effectively manage stormwater runoff, and become generally greener, cooler, and healthier—starting (quite literally) from the top.

Flowering green roof
A beautiful flowering green roof in Toronto, host of CitiesAlive 2009

It’s no exaggeration to say that green roofs are one of the hottest innovations in green building today, not least because of their capacity to drastically reduce the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon with which anyone who has endured a Philadelphia summer should be intimately acquainted. And with flooding on everyone’s mind after Hurricane Irene’s brief (but exciting!) visit in August, an average green roof’s ability to absorb 60% to 100% of stormwater runoff should be all the more impressive.

You can even graze goats on a green roof... though maybe not in Center City

Who should be interested in attending CitiesAlive 2011?

Well, pretty much everyone.

Obviously architects, planners, designers, contractors, and anyone interested in sustainable building practices should come and check out new trends and innovations in the industry—but did you know that residential green roofs, planted and maintained by private homeowners, are an up-and-coming trend too?  Take a gander at this article to learn more about the phenomenon.

Is that cool or what?

The conference will take place starting November 30 and will run till December 3. A full roster of exhibits, speakers, and events is viewable here.

For more information about the conference and how to attend, visit If you’re inspired by the conference and want to tour the largest green roof in Philadelphia—more than 45,000 square feet on top of the PECO building in Center City, pictured below–check it out here.

If you’re just curious and want to learn more, a wealth of information about green roofs and their many amazing benefits is available here.

Look at those sedums go!