liv­ing Walls To Com­bat Pol­lu­tion

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ver­ti­cal gar­dens, green walls or liv­ing Walls as they are called were the in­no­va­tion of French botanist Patrick Blanc. these veg­e­tated sur­faces don’t just look pretty but can slash air pol­lu­tion in cities.

Ac­cord­ing to Patrick Blanc, the de­sign of ver­ti­cal gar­dens is a mix of sci­ence and aes­thet­ics. For ex­am­ple, de­sign­ing a gar­den for a tall build­ing means one needs shade-lov­ing plants at the bot­tom and light-lov­ing plants at the top. Other con­sid­er­a­tions are north or south ori­en­ta­tion, the cli­mate, use of the build­ing etc. One might as­sume a ver­ti­cal gar­den would be more chal­leng­ing to main­tain than a hor­i­zon­tal one, but Blanc says the op­po­site is true. “The gar­den is built on a sys­tem com­pris­ing a layer of PVC and is felt within a metal frame that is light enough to be hung on a wall or sus­pended in mid-air. The gar­dens only need to be main­tained thrice a year with an ex­te­rior gon­dola. They are watered with nu­tri­ents ev­ery day au­to­mat­i­cally through a pipe with holes ev­ery 10cm. It’s im­por­tant to keep a high level of bio-di­ver­sity vis­ually, as well as eco­log­i­cally, es­pe­cially in cities. Hav­ing many va­ri­eties, en­cour­ages dif­fer­ent an­i­mals to live within the plants,” Blanc said. Due to these very rea­sons, ver­ti­cal gar­dens are now a ubiq­ui­tous sight in cities around the globe. Other than re­duc­ing emis­sions from ve­hi­cles, city ad­min­is­tra­tions are turn­ing their at­ten­tion to trap­ping the air pol­lu­tants. And that’s why the ver­ti­cal gar­dens are be­ing rec­og­nized as al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tion to im­prove air qual­ity. Cen­tral Lon­don ho­tel Athenaeum has seven storeys of lush green­ery, while the en­tire side of Madrid mu­seum, the Caixa Fo­rum, is blan­keted in plants and flow­ers. In Paris, the en­trance to the iconic Musée du quai Branly is a green wall made of 15,000 plants across 800 square me­ters – and by 2020, the city aims to have 100 hectares of plant-en­twined rooftops and walls. Mex­ico is adding green­ery to more than 400 pub­lic places across the city to pro­duce oxy­gen and help fil­ter the heavy met­als and dust from the air. Sim­i­larly, in Sao Paulo, the South-fac­ing walls win­dow­less walls are be­ing con­verted into lush, ver­ti­cal gar­dens. Sin­ga­pore has in fact started the sky rise green­ing move­ment that is help­ing re­duce the ur­ban heat is­land ef­fect, con­tribut­ing to the city’s beau­ti­fi­ca­tion ef­forts, and bring­ing na­ture back into its sky­scraper build­ings. Sin­ga­pore is now of­fi­cially home to the world’s largest ver­ti­cal gar­den.

Tak­ing a cue from the Sin­ga­pore and Mex­ico city, the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice (PMO) has asked the Min­istry of Hous­ing and Ur­ban Af­fairs, and the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment to de­velop ver­ti­cal gar­dens across the In­dian cities. Delhi: In a bid to in­crease green cover in the city, the Delhi govern­ment has asked the ma­jor land and road-own­ing agen­cies to start ver­ti­cal gar­den­ing. Delhi Devel­op­ment Author­ity (DDA), the govern­ment’s Pub­lic Works De­part­ment (PWD) and the three mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions have started ver­ti­cal gar­den­ing ini­tia­tive by cov­er­ing pil­lars un­der fly­overs with ver­ti­cal green­ery. The fly­overs to be trans­formed in­clude the ones at La­j­pat Na­gar, An­drews Ganj, Sarai Kale Khan, Kalkaji, Nehru Place and Raja Gar­den, which will also use re­cy­cled wa­ter. Delhi Metro, eight pil­lars of the el­e­vated Blue Line (Dwarka Sec­tor 21-Vaishali/ Noida City Cen­tre) be­tween Mandi House and Pra­gati Maidan sta­tions are also sport­ing ver­ti­cal gar­dens.the pil­lars are cov­ered by a mesh like frame, on which small pots with plants are mounted. The pil­lars are lo­cated at the junc­tion of Sikan­dra Road, Ti­lak Marg and Mathura Road, one of the busiest in­ter­sec­tions in the city. Ben­galuru: Ben­galuru’s first ver­ti­cal gar­den was in­stalled by NGO Say Trees in the city on one of the pil­lars of the Ho­sur Road fly­over. The gar­den boasts of around 3500 saplings of more than 10 species. An au­to­mated drip ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem has been in­stalled that will wa­ter these saplings ev­ery day. Ev­ery side has a cre­ative de­sign which makes the area look like a work of art. Hy­der­abad: Just like Ben­galuru, Hy­der­abad also has been fac­ing the prob­lem of de­creased green­ery due to rapid ur­ban­i­sa­tion. In an ef­fort to green the city ex­ten­sively, over 18 GHMC (Greater Hy­der­abad Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion) of­fices, in­clud­ing the cir­cle and divi­sional of­fices, will be pro­vided with ver­ti­cal gar­dens. Built of wood, the ver­ti­cal struc­tures will vary from 70 feet height up to 400 feet height. The to­tal green cover of Hy­der­abad is a dis­mal 5 per cent of the to­tal built-up area. Ac­cord­ing to global stan­dards, the green belt should be 15 per cent of the to­tal built up area. While the ver­ti­cal gar­dens’ ini­tia­tive

is aimed at curb­ing pol­lu­tion, it will also make of­fi­cial spa­ces en­vi­ron­ment-friendly and help cre­ate a bio-aes­thetic en­vi­ron­ment. Kochi: Among the many firsts that go to the Kochi Metro’s credit is the ver­ti­cal gar­den that will adorn over 200 Kochi metro pil­lars and will use 3,000 tonnes of com­post gen­er­ated from mu­nic­i­pal waste ev­ery year. Ev­ery sixth metro pil­lar will have a ver­ti­cal gar­den. Ad­ver­tise­ment boards will be placed on the oth­ers, earn­ing rev­enue for the KMRL. Ahmed­abad: The gar­den de­part­ment un­der the Ahmed­abad Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (AMC) has planned to build ver­ti­cal gar­dens along the pil­lars of fly­over near Hel­met Cir­cle in Gu­rukul. In­ter­est­ingly, there is no ad­di­tional cost for this on the AMC. The civic body has used ma­te­rial which was used in the flower show 2018. The civic body is plant­ing mainly the In­dian plants. Gu­ru­gram: Ver­ti­cal gar­dens isn’t new to Gu­ru­gram with sev­eral of­fices build­ings in the city opt­ing for it. The Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion of Gu­ru­gram (MCG) re­cently passed a pro­posal to cre­ate ver­ti­cal gar­dens on the pil­lars of Rapid Metro in the city to ex­pand the city’s green cover and fight air pol­lu­tion. The

ver­ti­cal gar­dens will be built on a metal­lic frame struc­ture around the pil­lar, held to­gether by wire mesh. This will also make sure that the plants’ roots don’t harm the pil­lar’s struc­tural in­tegrity. The fi­nal modal­i­ties of how many gar­dens will be cre­ated are be­ing worked out by the MCG and the Rapid Metro of­fi­cials. These ver­ti­cal gar­dens will be have anti-pol­lu­tion plants that help re­duce smog and pro­duce oxy­gen 24x7. Pune: In its at­tempts to make Metro Rail greener, Maha-metro has de­cided to de­velop ver­ti­cal gar­dens on the pil­lars of the Metro in the city from the Pim­pri-chinch­wad to Swar­gate cor­ri­dor and from the Vanaz to Ramwadi cor­ri­dor. Ac­cord­ing to Maha-metro of­fi­cials, the metro pil­lars in city will be cov­ered by a mesh like frame, on which small pots with plants will be mounted and will use re­cy­cled wa­ter through a drip ir­ri­ga­tion mech­a­nism or hy­dro­pon­ics tech­nol­ogy in same places. The ver­ti­cal gar­den will also help save on the cost of colour­ing the pil­lars.

the NEW green turn

The in­ter­net en­abled “City Tree” is the rein­vent­ing of the Patrick Blanc ver­ti­cal gar­dens. Cre­ated by Ger­man ar­chi­tect Dénes Honus and Vic­tor Splittger­ber, Wu Liang and Pe­ter Sänger – the co-founders of Green City So­lu­tions, it is a real piece of smart-city in­fra­struc­ture - the City Tree cleans the air, beau­ti­fies the city and col­lects data. The stan­dard unit, four me­tres high, is made of steel com­po­nents which are plugged to­gether and filled with in­di­vid­ual pots of moss cul­tures – 1,600 per unit – each mon­i­tored by our IOT [in­ter­net of things] so­lu­tion in the back­ground. A cov­er­ing plant is added to shade the moss cul­ture, and we can cus­tomise the de­sign, if re­quired. A wa­ter tank col­lects rain from the roof sur­face, and so­lar­pow­ered sen­sors alert the sys­tem to give the plants op­ti­mal wa­ter and nu­tri­ents au­to­mat­i­cally. The units are also equipped with tech­nol­ogy to col­lect data about the en­vi­ron­ment, traf­fic and cli­mate con­di­tions.

One City Tree is as ef­fec­tive in com­bat­ing air pol­lu­tion as 275 reg­u­lar planted trees, but it re­quires 95 per cent less space, and is at least 10 times cheaper.

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