While New York is making strides in promoting the installation of green roofs throughout NYC, the city of Zhuzhou in Hunan, China is taking the idea of green roofs to new heights with a shopping mall topped with a lush living roof and a four-villa development! China Daily reports that the houses atop Jiutian International Square mall are intended to function as offices for employees of the mall’s real estate developer, and they present an intriguing possibility for urban areas seeking to offer residents more green space.

Green roofs serve as a way to mitigate the impacts of the urban heat island effect, which plagues many cities. The idea is that introducing foliage to rooftops will help to cool urban areas that are considerably hotter than nearby rural areas. The rooftop villas mark an important achievement for Zhuzhou, a city which began dedicating significant resources to greening its infrastructure after it was designated a national-level garden city back in 2008.

The four two-story houses occupying the roof of the five-story shopping mall are positioned at opposite corners of the roof and are approximately 500 square meters in size. Zhuzhou Jiutian Real Estate, developer of the progressive property, designed the houses to look like villas by incorporating “modern designs and landscape decorations.”

This innovative rooftop housing development demonstrates the ability to leverage existing real estate in places where new property is scarce and expensive. With green roofs, it seems the sky’s the limit!

Via China Daily and io9

Image: China Daily