Among the many benefits green roofs and similar urban plantings provide is a quieting effect as leaves absorb sound bouncing off roads, buildings and other hard surfaces. But what arrangement of vegetation works best? A research team from Belgium developed a model that predicts green roofs hold the most opportunity for buffering noise, followed by green façade walls. Best of all? A combination of vegetated screens on roof edges and a green roof or green wall. Photo by GarberDC (Flickr | Creative Commons)