Photo: Xavier TESTELIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Green rooftops are growing in popularity, offering a slew of environmental benefits, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The rooftops on apartments or commercial buildings often feature lawn areas, grills and seating. Some host community gardens, blossoming vegetables and herbs. But the greenery, and corresponding absence of asphalt and shingles, doesn't just up the aesthetic, it lowers surrounding temperatures, reduces energy use and assists in filtering storm water.

  • Green Roofs for Healthy Cities estimates the rooftops in North America have increased roughly 15% since 2013.
  • The National Research Council of Canada estimated the rooftops can lower a building's air conditioning use up to 75%.
  • Plants on rooftops are able to absorb rain water before it hits the ground, acting as filters and reducing runoff.
  • And, through evapotranspiration, plants cool the surrounding air by evaporating moisture, allowing temperatures to cool.

Between the lines: In many cities, the rooftops are no longer optional.

  • Both New York City and San Francisco have passed requirements for newly constructed buildings to have some component of green roofs, solar panels or both.
  • In 2010, Copenhagen made green roofs a requirement for all new commercial buildings, with a caveat for those with over a 30-degree slope.
  • In 2016, Córdoba, Argentina, passed legislation requiring all rooftops over 1,300 square feet, regardless of age, to turn green.

Go deeper: How I am trying to get greener and cheaper electricity

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 20,620,847 — Total deaths: 748,416— Total recoveries: 12,770,718Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 5,197,000 — Total deaths: 166,026 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America's two-sided COVID-19 response America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.

Bob Woodward's new book details letters between Trump and Kim Jong-un

Bob Woodward during a 2019 event in Los Angele. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Journalist Bob Woodward has obtained "25 personal letters exchanged" between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for his new book, "Rage," publisher Simon & Schuster revealed on Wednesday.

Details: In the letters, "Kim describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a 'fantasy film,' as the two leaders engage in an extraordinary diplomatic minuet," according to a description of the book posted on Amazon.

Dozens of Confederate symbols removed in wake of George Floyd's death

A statue of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis lies on the street after protesters pulled it down in Richmond, Virginia, in June. Photo: Parker Michels-Boyce/AFP via Getty Images

59 Confederate symbols have been removed, relocated or renamed since anti-racism protests began over George Floyd's death, a new Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report finds.

Why it matters: That's a marked increase on previous years, per the report, which points out just 16 Confederate monuments were affected in 2019.