Author or contributor

Green Roof, Nature-based Solutions, Biodiversity, Sustainability, Macao SAR, China

Resource type
Green Roof, Nature-based Solutions, Biodiversity, Sustainability, Macao SAR, China
According to the United Nations (UN) World Urbanization Prospects 2018, cities are growing in both size and number, posing challenges for sustainable development. With urbanization, the increase of impermeabilization and landscape fragmentation urges for territorial planning and resources management. To promote resilient and resourceful cites, strategic planning where nature-based solutions (NBS) are included into the built environment, counteracting the negative effects of urbanization through the provision of ecosystem services, should be considered. Green roofs (GR) are an example of NBS that provide a panoply of ecosystem services at the level of the building and city, besides contributing for climate change mitigation and adaptation. This NBS can be included in the urban planning agenda in the new building or as a retrofit solution in the existing built environment. Macao SAR (here mentioned as Macao) is the second more densely populated city in the world, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division. The present study aims to assess the inclusion of GR in Macao and assess the ecosystem services that they may provide in a holistic approach aligned with the city’s sustainable development. For this purpose, an extensive GR implemented in Taipa Island of Macao was monitored in terms of associated biodiversity and carbon cycle assessment. Further on, it was carried out a comparison between this GR and a conventional roof (CR) in terms of surface thermal buffering. The results of this study have shown to be very promising in terms of the applicability of GR in Macao and on the relevant ecosystem services that they can provide. First, data loggers were installed in the GR and CR to assess the impact on temperature mitigation. The GR had a significant effect in decreasing and buffering temperature at the surface, with temperatures of 35.6 ºC in the GR substrate comparing with temperatures of 57.7 ºC in the CR surface. The results show that GR can be a cost-efficiency strategy to reduce heating of buildings and their associated environmental and economic costs with cooling. Second, the biodiversity of plants and animals was assessed using a combination of methods. It was observed a high level of biodiversity under a low maintenance and low disturbance of GR vegetation, with 23 species of plants and 34 species of animals identified. This shows that GR can contribute to increase biodiversity in cities. Third, an experiment was run with leaf litter bags to investigate the role of macrofauna (e.g., insects) in the decomposition of organic matter. With macrofauna activity, the decomposition rate increased 17 % when compared to decomposition rates without macrofauna, suggesting that the animals harboured in GR, in particular insects, play a key role in organic matter decomposition and thus on the carbon cycle in cities. This work is, to our knowledge, the first empirical GR study in Macao. The results support the application of GR in Macao for temperature mitigation, biodiversity increase and carbon sequestration, promoting the integration of this NBS in the future urban planning and policy of the city. More generally, the work supports the use of GR as an important NBS to mitigate the impact of climate change in urban settings
University of Saint Joseph
# of Pages
Library Catalog
Library Catalog (Koha)
Call Number
Supervisor : David Gonçalves & Cristina CalheirosIn Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of PhD in Science in the Institute of Science and Environment of the University of Saint Joseph, Macao June 2023
Lei, M. S. (2023). Green Roof, Nature-based Solutions, Biodiversity, Sustainability, Macao SAR, China [University of Saint Joseph].