The Augustenborg Botanical Roof Garden was installed between 1999-2001 on top of office and industrial buildings belonging to Malmö City. The roof garden was part of a project called Eco-City Augustenborg that was initiated in the 90’s to transform the city area Augustenborg into a sustainable neighbourhood, since during the 80’s and 90’s it had suffered from urban flooding, social and economic problems and physical degradation of buildings and outdoor areas. The roof garden was one of many solutions to the flooding problem and also part of the Malmö’s transformation into a more ecological sustainable city through green infrastructure. The roof garden has become a place for inspiration, information and research. The Scandinavian Green Roof Institute, which manages the roof garden today, offers guided tours and technical visits, a summer green roof course, seminars and is part of both national and international projects.
“In total, there is 9500m2 of green area with most of this being the lightweight extensive green roof with sedum and moss vegetation. A large part of the garden is a semi-intensive green roof which is more garden-like in its appearance. This area requires the most attention and maintenance such as weeding, irrigation and re-establishment. Here one finds a small kitchen garden with vegetables and herbs, showing the public that it’s fully possible to have urban farms amongst a roofscape. Those who are interested in meadow plants will also find a perennial exhibition. 33 drought tolerant local plants, all suitable for biodiverse green roofs, have been planted in 10cm of lightweight porous green roof substrate and are not irrigated unless a long period of drought occurs. Continuing on the topic of biodiversity, a biotope roof was installed at the beginning of 2000 that has resulted in a flowering meadow, supporting pollinators and other insects and spiders. Last but not least, a grass garden was designed and created in 2009 where a walking path of stones welcomes the visitors up on to the roof. Much research is also conducted at the roof garden. Researchers at Lund’s University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences have studied everything from water retention benefits, substrate composition to water runoff quality. My favourite spot is the biotope area and I hope that it soon becomes mandatory to install biodiverse green roofs in cities in order to support urban biodiversity and mitigate urban climate change.”