Most visitors to New York City crane their necks for a view of the city’s famous skyline, but locals know better: To get the best views, you have to go up. Here’s your chance to take a rare — and vivid — journey atop a few of the city’s billion square feet of rooftops.
As the Big Apple faces ever-hotter summers, officials are looking for ways to cool off in some of the only unused space left in a crowded city: rooftops.
Fertile vegetated green roofs absorb the sun’s rays, while reflective roofs bounce them back to space. Both are sprouting up in response to a 2008 city rule that requires new roofs to be climate-friendly. Meanwhile, the city is working with the Obama administration to overhaul its hulking construction bureaucracy, making it easier for solar panel installers to turn rooftops into the city’s fastest-growing energy provider.
Climate Desk strapped on hardhats, jumped into elevators, and scaled ladders to see firsthand how the roofscape of New York is adapting to face a changing climate. Check out three different climate-friendly uses for roofs in the videos below.
This story was produced as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.