Urban Jungle: An Intimate Portrait of FIT’s Green Roofs


From the street level, FIT’s imposing brutalist buildings are a signature of New York City’s urban landscape. Look at FIT from above, and a greener picture emerges. The roofs of the Shirley Goodman Resource Center and David Dubinsky Student Center are covered with 1¼ acres of greenery that have been installed beginning in 2010. A green roof atop the Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, slated to be in place spring 2017, will boost the total area to 1⅓ acres.

FIT’s green roofs are planted with several varieties of sedum, installed  in large trays. These hardy succulents require little watering or maintenance.

Green roofs benefit the campus—and the environment—in many ways. They help insulate the buildings, decreasing the need for heating and air conditioning. By absorbing carbon dioxide, they improve air quality and reduce the college’s carbon footprint. They lessen the heat island effect—the reason New York City is a few degrees warmer than its environs—making FIT’s climate more livable. And, importantly, during heavy rainfall, they soak up water that would otherwise flood the city’s sewers, thus preventing untreated sewage from flowing into the Hudson and East rivers.

The green roofs are just one part of FIT’s commitment to sustainability, helping to make New York City a little bit more livable today and for future generations.

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