With rapid growth of population and the increasing demands for higher living standards, the development of urban infrastructures and buildings are likely to increase the impervious surfaces in the river basin. Green roofs have a famous strategy in the sustainable urban development strategies in recent decades. Green roof is a viable means of increasing the amount of vegetation in urban cities, where the open space at ground level is limited but roof tops are largely unused yet remain impervious and contribute to storm water runoff. This paper is aimed to review comprehensively the types, components, and environmental benefits of green roofs to the sustainable urban development. Generally, green roofs provide a lot of advantages for example decreasing consumption of energy by reducing heating and cooling loads, increase building standards, provide aesthetic value and amenity, improves urban air quality, increase storm water runoff mitigation, decrease air temperatures, decrease noise in urban environments, support in urban storm water pollutant removal, and mitigate urban heat island effects. This paper also reviewed the development and application of green roofs in different countries. In conclusion, more implementation of green roofs in the urban city should be promoted in order to ensure the sustainability of the urban development.