The level of awareness and perceptions on rooftop gardens: case of eThekwini Municipality City Centre.
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Currently, cities across the globe experience a number of environmental, economic and social concerns and challenges. Central among these are: climate change, food security and unemployment in the urban centre. This research study looks at the concept of rooftop gardens in the urban centre as a means to mitigate some of these issues. With the current state of dwindling resources in South Africa, re-purposing, recycling and the environmentallyfriendly use of city space is of paramount importance. The purposeful design of green cities is one of the ways that a city in the twenty-first century can become increasingly resilient and achieve sustainable growth. The central aim of the study was to determine the level of awareness and perceptions on rooftop gardens. The area in which the study takes place is eThekwini Municipality city centre. Main objectives of this study are assessing the levels of awareness on rooftop gardens, to examine the perceptions on rooftop gardens and review local and international literature and experiences on rooftop gardens. The use of both qualitative and quantitative data methods were chosen for the methodology of the study and involved the use of questionnaires, interviews, spatial mapping as well as observation. The snowball technique of sampling was prominent in the study in order to achieve the required sample size. The study revealed that many people have a positive reaction towards urban rooftop gardens. However, the main reason why they not developed on a larger scale in the city is because people do not have extensive information about their overall concept. Not all city rooftops will be able to accommodate rooftop gardens. Accordingly, a full engineering audit needs to be conducted in this regard. There is also a need to look at the existing guidelines so that these can be developed into a formal policy or legislation by the municipal authorities. The recommendations that have been put forward have been based on the results that were collected from the field study.