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  • Naomi Stephens | Permaculture Designer

Permaculture for Renters: Rallying Your Landlord for a Rooftop Garden Project


With a rapidly growing population and shrinking living spaces, it is essential that we act to transform our urban living spaces into something sustainable and regenerative for the environment and ourselves. One way to initiate this change in our living quarters is through permaculture rooftop gardens. As renters, it can be challenging to convince a landlord to agree to such a project. But with a little advocacy and some practical considerations, it is possible to make it happen. In this blog post, we will discuss how to approach your landlord and rally their support for your rooftop garden project.






Research local bylaws and regulations


The first step towards implementing a rooftop garden project is to know the legal implications of such a project. Research local bylaws, regulations, and building codes. Learn about the safety standards and any permits required to undertake such a project. This knowledge will serve as a starting point to initiate a conversation with your landlord.


Understand the benefits


To convince your landlord of the value of a rooftop garden, you need to present the benefits it offers. For instance, a green roof can reduce energy costs by insulating the building, filter out pollutants, provide a better ambiance for tenants and increase the building's lifespan. Adding a garden will contribute to the local ecosystem by providing food for pollinators, improving air quality, and absorbing rainwater, reducing runoff and water pollution.



Discuss the costs and maintenance





Once you have listed all the benefits of a rooftop garden, talk to your landlord about the project's cost. Explain that you will incur the expenses, and there are many ways to make rooftop gardens affordable. For example, you may choose to use materials found on-site and recycled materials to construct planters. Additionally, you should discuss the maintenance of the garden.


Show research and examples


It's essential to show your landlord that rooftop gardens are not only feasible but successful. Gather as much research and examples as possible to present your case persuasively. Locate rooftop gardens in your area and gather case studies that demonstrate their effectiveness. You can also present your landlord with designs and plans for the garden to give them an idea of what the final product will look like.


Find allies


Build a coalition with your neighbors! Talk to them, get them interested, and bring them on board. This will increase the support for your idea and help it gain momentum.



Give your landlord options





If your landlord is hesitant about the project, provide them with several options that could make them feel more comfortable about the idea. For example, you can offer to sign an agreement that transfers liability to you for the project's lifetime. You can also offer to make the project temporary so that it can be easily dismantled if needed.


 

Permaculture rooftop gardens are a fantastic way to address our shrinking living spaces, reconnect with nature, and promote sustainability. However, as renters, it can be challenging to implement such a project without your landlord's support.


By showing the benefits and addressing their concerns, you may convince them to agree to the project. Always remember to present clear plans, research, and options for your landlord so that they can make an informed decision.


With your landlord's support, a small project can have a significant impact on the environment and the lives of those who live in the building.




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