Liliana Jaramillo

Quito, Ecuador, has two seasons: dry and wet. And as the climate changes, each is growing more extreme.

Jaramillo: “The rainy season will be difficult to manage. The precipitation can fluctuate really fast.”

Biologist Liliana Jaramillo says growing plants on so-called green roofs can help reduce the threat of flash floods by absorbing excess rain. And, they can improve air quality in the rapidly growing city.

So Jaramillo wants to expand the number of green roofs in Quito. But to be successful, the plants also need to survive Quito’s dry season, which is growing longer. So Jaramillo is experimenting with native plants that are adapted to Quito’s climate extremes.

Jaramillo: “The plants won’t need as much water as introduced plants.”

For example, she’s propagating drought-resistant grasses and succulents from Ecuador’s forests and mountainous highlands to see which do best on Quito’s rooftops. Last year, she won a United Nations award that will help support her research.

'I think that nature-based solutions like green roofs are applicable in every single city.' Click To Tweet

She says that every geographic area faces its own climate challenges.

Jaramillo: “But I think that nature-based solutions like green roofs are applicable in every single city.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Image credit: CoalitionWILD video screen capture.