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Sat 17 Jan 2009 11:23 AM

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Rooftop gardens to beat pollution in Bahrain's capital

Manama council is introducing the plan next year to create a less polluted city.

Residents of Bahrain's capital will soon get cleaner air to breathe as all multi-storey commercial buildings will have to be crowned with rooftop gardens from next year, it was reported Saturday.

The move is part of Manama Municipal Council's efforts to make the city less polluted.The council believes the move will help promote green areas in a city that is currently a concrete jungle.

Councillors are planning to introduce the scheme as non-compulsory from this year, reported Bahrain daily Gulf Daily News.

The owners of all the existing buildings and new developers will be encouraged to implement the scheme before it is made compulsory from next year.

However, it will be a new condition in the contract whenever a new building permit is issued.

"We need a clean environment where people can breathe fresh air, rather than car fumes and dust," said Sadiq Rahma chairman of the council services and public utilities committee.

"Those multi-storey buildings and towers are destroying the green areas of this city. So they should make up for it. The green rooftops scheme, which will be initially introduced on a non-compulsory basis for developers, will become compulsory from next year," he added.

Mr Rahma said the scheme will also provide the employees working in these buildings and towers a place to rest and relax.

"Instead of just working and eating in offices for 12 hours or more, employees can go to the rooftops where they can relax and enjoy fresh air," he said.

"Green rooftops are not just a solution to the ongoing environmental problems in the capital governorate. It will also ease the stress and tension of our employees."

Mr Rahma said developers could also be obliged to have green areas surrounding their buildings and towers.

"We haven't finalised this requirement yet. Certain aspects like what percentage should be dedicated to greenery around buildings and towers have to be decided," he said.

"From what I have heard recently, our realty developers believe that this should be kept voluntary and green areas have to be decided according to the available space rather than having it taken from the total building area.

"Developers believe that the first scheme will be easier, since it will utilise only rooftops, which are mostly unused.

"However, in the second scheme they will have to allocate space from their total building area, which they believe will result in losses.

"What the developers are forgetting is that they are responsible for making the capital a concrete jungle."

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james 11 years ago

it all boils down to having a "comprehensive" regulations on environment. it shd have been a legistration that all developments/buildings must have certain percentage of green spaces, parking, walkways, rubbish areas, etc based upon the size of the development/building. this is called planning.