The architects, the university and the city administration


ROOFSCAPES is a startup from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning with the mission of transforming untapped rooftops into green roofs as a way to mitigate climate change and to provide new outdoor spaces in cities.

How did the collaboration come about?

Roofscapes started when three long-time friends studying architecture at MIT got together and realized that they could have a more societal and environmental impact if they favoured a proactive entrepreneurial approach to architecture over the conventional pipeline for architecture as a service industry. They joined the MIT DesignX incubator, which is focused on ventures working within the built-environment. There, they were able to scale the initial design idea of transforming untapped pitched roofs into green and accessible platforms into a start-up with the goals of mitigating climate change, restoring urban biodiversity and providing new outdoor spaces.

After their experience at DesignX, they got connected through one of their advisors with the department in charge of urban farming and green roofs at the mayor’s office in Paris. They faced the following situation: the city of Paris was pushing for green roof development, but on the other hand, the preservation architects were less receptive to urban experimentation. In order for their concept to move forward, Roofscapes had to engage and collaborate with both sides – connecting with prospective clients, selecting manufacturers and connecting with the Parisian urban farming ecosystem. Roofscapes will use its upcoming pilot project in Paris to test the coordination between these stakeholders.

Will the project continue beyond COVID-19 lockdown?


How was the project funded

By MIT Design X

Any other comments?

In order of importance, please choose the relevant factors that contributed to the success of this project?

Response to need
Response to COVID-19
The 'big' idea
Social impact
Delivery of Project
Combination of skill sets
Combination of participants
Volunteer support
Existing relationships
Available funding