In Seattle, as in many densifying American cities, green open spaces are limited. Building footprints often cover desirable land, as this tends to be the most profitable land use. Rooftops are ubiquitous components of these built urban landscapes and are the subject of this ad hoc urban exploration. Flat, uninspiring and often ugly, we usually don’t realize how prevalent these leftover spaces are in our everyday views or how easily they can be accessed. There is a tremendous opportunity for revisiting these vast deserts. Many of the ecological functions (water, nutrient and habitat systems) of these urban footprints can be restored. While typically they don’t do more than keep the building dry and house utilities, they are being discovered as places to socialize, learn, grow vegetables and act as visual amenities to the thousands of people who see them from above every day. Look at some of the different rooftop uses I found around Seattle and think about the roof spaces you can access.
View ad hoc roofs in a larger map