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Manhattan To Become World’s First Carbon-Negative Airport

5 August 2009

newaerial-manhattan2(New York, NY) - For years green roofs have been in use in Scandinavia to filter pollutants, conserve energy and maintain the population of native invertebrates. And when Manhattan Airport opens for service this same sustainable design technique will help to create the first-ever carbon-negative airport. The living roof, which will be the world’s largest, will cover the main concourse as well as portions of the 950,000 sq. ft. domestic and international terminals. The filtration effect of the non-invasive native plantings on the green roof will actually go beyond offsetting aircraft-related carbon emissions to result in a small yet significant net-decrease for Manhattan Airport as a whole.

“Today, on behalf of all New Yorkers, we usher in the era of post-carbon-neutralism,” said newly-appointed Environmental Director Monika Ostergaard at the Foundation’s Tribeca headquarters this morning.

“The green roof, through which soil and non-invasive native plantings serve to filter carbon and other undesirable pollutants out of the air actually functions in a manner not unlike a park.” The design is also expected help combat what climatologists refer to as the “heat island,” or warming phenomenon in which urban areas are characteristically found to have higher average temperatures than that of adjacent forested areas.

“Large portions of this site were paved long ago,” Ostergaard went on to say. “What you see is a variety of reinforced concrete abutments and berms as well as asphalt walking paths, roads and manmade reservoirs. So the opportunity to just create this massive green space and invite nature back in, frankly the feeling is indescribable.”

With so much emphasis being placed on sustainable design practices it’s no surprise environmental leaders applaud this announcement. “Manhattan Airport is clearly committed to crossing the threshold of carbon neutrality.” Said TAFT representative Yael Kaufman, who was on hand for the announcement. “If you want to solve global warming, you can’t do it by staying even.”

Foundation Press Secretary Audrey Cortland expressed it in a more philosophical manner. “Manhattan Airport it isn’t only about helping you get around the world. It’s about saving it, too.”

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