Water will be one of the most important resources for long-term urban development. In order to provide clean water to 3.7 billion more people in urban areas over the next forty years, the service will need to be expanded. As a result, an engineered redistribution of fresh water in space and time is needed. This issue must be tackled in a long-term manner by introducing creative Green Infrastructure (GI) capable of increasing water supply in urban systems by recovering rainwater and domestic water and reusing it for irrigation and non-potable uses. As a result, the aim of this study is to establish a GI project idea centred on water resource reuse in a 40-unit condominium in Lecce, southern Italy. The project will take advantage of the open areas on the building’s roof, which total about 900 square metres. The project entails the development of a green roof to promote ecological functions associated with wastewater purification, similar to those found in a Constructed Treatment Wetland (CTW), which is a low-cost alternative to secondary or tertiary wastewater treatment. This green roof allows wastewater to be reused on site for sanitary, gardening, and other building purposes. reducing the exploitation of regional freshwater resources, which are already scarce. The project concept also involves the possibility of phytoremediation with aromatic and medicinal plant organisms, with applications in phytotherapy and cosmetics. CTWs provide ecosystem services similar to those offered by wetlands, and thus serve as CO2 sinks. Furthermore, it is generally accepted that a green roof decreases the heating of buildings induced by solar irradiation, thus decreasing the energy consumption needed to cool the apartments. As a result, the green roof transforms from an unused cemented roof to a source of ecosystem services related to water reuse and the production of future economic activities. The replication of this project on several buildings at the municipal level will minimise water demand for residential areas, alleviate the island heat effect that afflicts urban areas during the summer, and boost the city’s quality of life. This policy provides several opportunities for water resource management, economic growth, and public health promotion to be combined.
Author (s) Details
University of Salento, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, Ecotekne, Prov. le Lecce Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy.
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