New green roof policy for the city of Helsinki

The City Board of Helsinki adopted on December 19th , 2016 its first comprehensive policy on green roofs. The initiative for establishing a green roof policy was originally made in 2013 by three city councilors: Emma Kari, Mari Puoskari and Anni Sinnemäki. Upon publishing the new policy The City Board stated, “The City of Helsinki is committed to the promotion of green roofs according to the means presented in the green roof policy.”


The stated goals of the policy are improved storm water management, mitigation of urban heat island effect, promoting urban biodiversity and more active utilization of roof surfaces as an urban resource. Strategies aimed to achieve Helsinki’s green roof goals include:

  • Active promotion of green roofs via integration in city planning, pilots and allocations
  • Requirement to demonstrate the consideration of green roofs for all new projects with roof slopes less than 20 degrees
  • A dynamic approach to requirements for substrate depth, based on functional requirements
  • Active promotion of environmentally responsible green roof solutions
  • Commitment to increasing local and municipal expertise through monitoring, evaluation and dissemination of knowledge

The City of Helsinki is also committed to further exploration of methods for developing financial instruments which can stimulate the construction of green roofs. The Helsinki Public Works Department has been tasked with responsibility for implementing the strategy.

The entire policy, translated to English, can be downloaded here at the Scandinavian Green Roof Association web site.