Green roof landscapes in Kista

Johan Paju and Maria Gudmundsson Paju, landscape architects, Paju Arkitektur

Tell us more about the green roof project and the collaboration with Citycon.

“Citycon reached out to us in autumn 2020 to put together a vision for a greener Kista with more life.”

“We have a long history of developing living urban environments that are based on the surrounding natural landscape and connecting the two. Previous projects we’ve worked on have included creating the concept for, drawing up and building the first large-scale green roof in Stockholm, Urban Deli’s Takpark on Sveavägen 44. Using the experience from many of our social urban nature projects, we are now taking that same step together with Citycon and Kista Galleria to create a holistic environment that returns habitats to the city’s urban fabric and connects it back to nature. Our vision is to create a piece of urban nature where people and many species can develop together over time in Kista.”

What will be unique to Kista Galleria’s green roofs?

“Kista Galleria is big, with an enormous roof that spans more than one hectare. By turning the roofs green, Kista will gain a large new green space in the middle of its dense urban centre, which will serve to increase biodiversity in the area. Kista Galleria is strategically located to be able to connect green infrastructure within the urban centre, and with its green roofs, Kista Galleria can become a stepping stone within the larger landscape. Additionally, the roofs’ plants and greenery will be visible from both the metro and the surrounding buildings, which will help to create a greener atmosphere in Kista. The two things that make the Kista Galleria project so unique are the shopping centre’s size and the goal of transforming its hard barren roof into a living and diverse piece of nature modelled after the local climate and surrounding landscape.”

What is your view on the need for green roofs, the future of urban green spaces and sustainable cities?

“If we are to successfully make our cities sustainable, green roofs are an important part of that process. However, for those green roofs to be able to help create sustainable cities, it is important that all environmental measures taken incorporate a long-term perspective and connect to the surrounding landscape. It is also important to choose plants that are suitable for a given area to ensure that the plants do, in fact, contribute to sustainability and do not require extra resources to maintain. The best rooftop plants are the ones that want to be here. What would grow here naturally over time if the process was entirely left to soil composition? Trust in nature – untouched nature. Nature’s way is the best way.”

“In the places where added value needs to be created for offices and programmes, people can also develop communal spaces within the untouched nature of the green roof.”