Many cities advocate retrofitting green roofs and green walls (GRGW) to create additional green areas, especially in cramped urban areas. Yet, worldwide, only a handful of studies have evaluated the public views towards the benefits and negative issues and promotion policies of this innovative greening option. To address this gap in the literature, we conducted a survey (N = 500) of residents’ opinions towards GRGW in Tokyo, a city with mandatory installation of GRGW for almost two decades. Respondents mostly agreed with the contribution of GRGW to thermal comfort, air quality, and cityscape but weakly endorsed other potential benefits. High costs as well as mosquitoes and plant litter nuisances were the most recognized negative issues. Mandatory installation was the least preferred promotion policy. Instead, respondents expected installation on public buildings and provision of installation guidance. Respondents predominantly held a “moderate” view towards both the benefits and negative issues, showing indifferent attitudes towards GRGW. Income level and housing type shaped the overall perceptions, whereas age, sex, and current living environment influenced perceptions of individual aspects. Our findings signified a need for a bottom-up strategy to heighten public awareness for the advanced development of GRGW to complement and prime the top-down mandatory installation policy.