Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Robin Saha

Commitee Members

Len Broberg, Matthew McKinney


climate change, energy efficiency, municipal sustainability, stakeholder analysis, stormwater, sustainable building, green roofs, local government, green building


University of Montana


Global climate change is expected to have adverse impacts on the Rocky Mountain West, including impacts on water and land use, energy consumption, weather patterns, and wildlife stewardship. The State of Montana, Missoula County and the City of Missoula all have recognized these threats and are taking steps to address climate change impacts. In response to the unique challenges posed by urban environments, the practice of green, or vegetative, roofing has been promoted through policy measures by a number of cities in the United States and abroad. This project explores green roofing and the policies used to encourage the practice with the goal of recommending what kind of green roof policy, if any, would be politically and practically feasible in the City of Missoula. This project explores the practice of green roofing through a discussion of its history and the benefits green roofs offer to building owners and communities. It explores three obstacles to widespread green roof adoption. It introduces the six main green roof policy tools identified through research, and presents eight case examples of cities with green roof policies in place to gain an understanding of these programs’ goals, the policy measures employed, and how successful these policies have been. It presents interview data from fourteen interviews with twenty-two Missoula-area stakeholders from four stakeholder groups: City administrators, architecture, design and building organizations, the conservation community, and others. These groups are analyzed to determine whether they support the City of Missoula taking policy steps to encourage green roofing, and to determine these groups’ preferred policy tools. Based on this research, the project concludes with six recommendations as to how the City of Missoula can best promote the practice of green roofing: educating residents and building owners; pursuing a City-lead green roof demonstration project; establishing standards for green roofs in the Missoula Building Code; passing a nonbinding resolution in favor of green roofing; committing to a strong sustainable building policy for City buildings; and offering nonmonetary incentives for green roof installation.



© Copyright 2011 Matthew Ryan Hodges