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Neighborhood Rooftop Ventures: Incentivizing Urban Rooftop Farming, Green Roofs, and Solar/Wind Power for Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Neighborhood Rooftop Ventures: Incentivizing Urban Rooftop Farming, Green Roofs, and Solar/Wind Power for Philadelphia Neighborhoods

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Caroline D'Angelo explores the possibilities of Philadelphia's flat roofs in this latest piece in the IGEL Student Research Briefs series.
Caroline D'Angelo explores the possibilities of Philadelphia's flat roofs in this latest piece in the IGEL Student Research Briefs series.

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08/07/2014

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NEIGHBORHOODROOFTOPVENTURES
INCENTIVIZING URBAN ROOFTOPFARMING, GREEN ROOFS ANDSOLAR / WIND POWER FORPHILADELPHIA NEIGHBORHOODS 
The view from a Brooklyn Rooftop Farm (Photo: Inhabit)
 
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E
XECUTIVE
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UMMARY
 T
he release of three plans by the City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Water Department to green Philadelphia in various ways creates opportunity for utilizing rowhouse rooftops, which are currently wasted or worse, cause energy drains. This reportrecommends that Philadelphia create a Neighborhood Rooftop Venture (NRV)program, which would allow neighborhoods to aggregate rooftops and create urbanfarms or energy. For funding, the report recommendsthat the City set up a low-interest revolving loan poolwhich would allow NRVs to invest in revenue-producing green rooftop projects with no or lowcapital costs. This program would particularly benefitlow-income neighborhoods, as they will have a way tocreate revenue and save money on energy that requires no upfront costs. NRVs couldproduce power through wind or solar, or through co-operative farming ventures.
I
NTRODUCTION TO
N
EIGHBORHOOD
R
OOFTOP
V
ENTURES
 O
pportunity exists
on Philadelphia’s flat plains of
row house roofs. Black rowhouse roofs contribute to the urban heat island effect, increase the cost of coolinghouses, decrease energy efficiency, and contribute to stormwater run-off issues. Greenroofs are an attractive way to address these negative effects while also decreasing air 
 
Green roofs in the Faroe Islands (photo by Erik Christensen, Wikimedia Commons)

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