Integrated readings for the urban green roof. Expressive codes and forms of nature


  • Alberto Bologna ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (Italy)
  • Adriana Ghersi University of Genoa (Italy)
  • Stefano Melli University of Genoa (Italy)



dense city, plant density, strategic green roofs, tectonics, contemporary expressive codes


The quality of public space requires new study paradigms: interconnected pieces of a broader urban green system can guarantee ecosystem services and liveability to spaces full of cultural meaning and social attraction. In particular, green roof gardens, by guaranteeing new connections with the context, prove to be a new strategic possibility to give value and space to nature, looking at the built city as a living system. An increasingly frequent, sometimes generative element of the language of the ‘third digital green industrial revolution’, green roof gardens have provided a compositional, formal and ornamental response to the need to save energy and reduce the consumption of materials and natural resources on a city-wide scale, as well as that of architecture, in different climatic and socio-technical contexts. This contribution intends to analyse green roof gardens as a strategic element for the overall regeneration of the urban system and as an architectural element identifying the design culture of our time.


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Author Biographies

Alberto Bologna, ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome (Italy)

Architect and PhD, he is an Assistant Professor in Architectural and Urban Composition at the Department of Architecture and Design. He concentrates his research in the field of a design culture based on construction through the relationship between tectonics, compositional aspects and the conception of architectural space.

Adriana Ghersi, University of Genoa (Italy)

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the DAD Department of the University, she focuses on the role of landscape as a place of the relationship between different disciplines regarding Landscape Planning and Design in the Contemporary Age, Therapeutic Landscapes, Historical Gardens, Terraced Rural Landscapes.

Stefano Melli, University of Genoa (Italy)

Landscape Architect, he is a PhD Candidate at the DAD Department. His research field is mainly focused on the multi-scalar study of green roofs as a new form of nature in the city, and the integration of humans and the wild in the ecological dynamics affecting the urban landscape.


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Detail of the green roof installed on the three cantilevered floors set between the building’s avant-corps (credits: Patrick Bingham-Hall, WOHA) – AGATHÓN 11_2022



30-06-2022 — Updated on 20-04-2023


How to Cite

Bologna, A., Ghersi, A. and Melli, S. (2023) “Integrated readings for the urban green roof. Expressive codes and forms of nature”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 11(online), pp. 114–123. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/11102022.



Architecture | Essays & Viewpoint