The melancholic grey skyline of Dhaka city is slowly being changed into the colour of life and peace, green, as rooftop gardening is gaining popularity among the city dwellers. Beautification is not the only reason for rooftop gardening nowadays, rather the gardeners are more interested in growing fruits and vegetables to get a bit relief of the flood of adulterated foodstuff.
Growing of different types herbs with medicinal quality is also getting popularity among the gardeners. Rooftop gardening can also give the gardeners mental freshness besides improving the quality of polluted air of the megacity. Abbas Mollah, 56, a resident of the city’s Central Road area started gardening on the roof of his eight-storey building only two years back. He was inspired by watching a TV-documentary on rooftop gardening. Now the 12000 square feet rooftop of his building is full of different types of plants including vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. His building is now the most attractive one in his locality.
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Talking to the Bangladesh Post Abbas Mollah said his rooftop garden seems to be a dream place to him. He feels fresh and rejuvenated whenever he comes up the garden. Every morning and evening he takes care of the plants which keeps him both physically and mentally well, he added. “Why do people leave their rooftop barren and vacant? Dhaka city’s grey skyline can be turned into the colour of life and peace, green, if every owner of the houses and buildings become aware of the usefulness of rooftop gardening,” Abbas said.
Ahmed Iqbal Taukir, a Professor of Civil Engineering of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) said, “Green roofs lower air-cooling costs in the summer by absorbing and reflecting heat. Vegetation on rooftops and at balconies can help reduce excess temperature by absorbing rainwater and outdoor air temperature as well.”
Rooftop gardening could be a solution to increased food demand besides developing a sustainable and livable Dhaka, he added. Komol Tarafder, a professor of Sher-E-Bangla Agriculture University said, “Vegetation at rooftop and balcony as well as grass plantation can help reduce excess temperature by absorbing rainwater and outdoor air temperature.
We must focus on rooftop or urban agriculture not only for food security, but also for adapting to climate change.” Though many people are not aware of rooftop gardening but in the cities and urban areas people are becoming interested in rooftop gardening gradually. The multi-storied community living culture can be more habitable if rooftop gardening is introduced among most of the city dwellers, he added.