CitygreenBlog

Blog

The latest news in urban sustainability research, innovation, community initiatives, and products. Stay up-to-date by completing the subscription form.

ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS FOR GREENER CITIES IN THESE TRYING TIMES – OUR MODULAR ROOT DIRECTOR

In Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology has officially declared that a third La Niña is underway. With this announcement, it is safe that most Australians are looking forward to the eventual return of sunny skies; however, this cannot be said for other citizens around the globe.

The La Niña causing relentless rain for eastern Australia is also driving serve drought conditions in East Africa.

This is because there are ‘cool seas off Africa and warm seas off Australia, leading to rain falling over Australia instead of Africa’ (Deacon, 2022).

As the rains began to fall in Australia shortly after the Black Summer Fires in early 2020, rainfall sadly failed to eventuate in East Africa. This year, the Horn of Africa faces a record fifth failed wet season, which is impacting some of the poorest countries on earth.

The million-dollar question is what can be done about La Niña?

With climate change, these unusual, erratic weather events will be more frequent, and our cities need to be able to adapt.

At Citygreen, we believe that trees can help to alleviate the impacts of climate change, but first, we need to get them in the ground, so they thrive in our communities.

Planting trees in our bustling cities is no easy feat. The idea that you can plant a tree into a sidewalk or verge and hope that it will survive on its own during these erratic weather seasons we now face is an idea that has now been conclusively abandoned.

At Citygreen, we have been developing highly-engineering and researched products for over three decades, enabling trees to thrive and benefit our urban communities as soon as possible.

One of these products goes by the name of the RootDirector – a modular root management device designed to prevent root swirl and divert root growth downward and outward. This encourages profound root growth, which enhances the tree’s growth and overall stability.

Deeper and healthier root growth means the trees can access more subsoil moisture during dry periods. During wet periods, the roots have a greater and deeper span to find available oxygen in waterlogged soils.

Also, if tree roots are not directed downwards, they will grow horizontally and cause issues to other infrastructures like pipes and sidewalks.

At Citygreen, we believe that planting trees using an adequately designed root management system is a small cost compared to the time and labour needed to replant trees after premature death or removal due to infrastructure damage.

For more information download the free digital brochure below.
RootDirector Brochure

Green infrastructure and how to manage water in a sustainable way.

Earlier this year, an article published online by editor and writer Melissa Denchak highlighted some shocking statistics coming out of America. Denchak stated that ‘an estimated 10 trillion gallons of untreated stormwater runoff, containing everything from raw sewage to trash to toxins, enters U.S waterways from city sewer systems every year, polluting the environment and drinking supplies… [with] runoff causes significant flooding as well.’ (Denchak 2022). 

Denchak described the ‘U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that upgrading the stormwater and other public water systems will require at least $150 billion in investment over the next two decades. 

This problem is not unique to the U.S, it is a problem all over the globe. The question is, how do we address the issues caused by stormwater runoff?

In this article, Citygreen will argue that green infrastructure offers a cost-effective solution to handling flooding and stormwater pollution. 

To start, let’s break down the basics. 

What is Green Infrastructure? 

Green infrastructure encompasses a variety of water management practices, such as planted verges, bioretention pits, swales and other measures that capture, filter, and reduce stormwater. Essentially, green infrastructure replicates natural hydrological processes using soil and plants to slow down, recycle and clean stormwater runoff.

What is stormwater runoff?

Runoff is the product of a rain event causing water to flow into sewers and waterways. With the expansion of our bustling cities and the widening sprawl of our urban areas, there are more impermeable surfaces than ever, changing the intensity of stormwater runoff. According to Denchak, ‘the average city block can generate more than five times as much runoff as a forested area of equal size’ (Denchak 2022). 

What is an example of a successful green infrastructure project? 

Denchak proposed that New York’s Staten Island Bluebelt was the ‘first and largest green infrastructure project in the U.S.’ A rapid increase in population size saw the Island struggling to deal with sanitary waste and stormwater runoff. The Bluebelt project ‘helped solve these issues by preserving streams, wetland areas, and other drainage corridors (Bluebelts) that use natural mechanisms to capture, store, and filter stormwater’ (Denchak 2022). Nowadays, the Bluebelt comprises more than 14,000 acres and can temporarily hold and filter as much as 350,000 gallons of rainfall. 

How does Citygreen implement green infrastructure projects?

Over the past three decades, Citygreen has made significant investments in green infrastructure projects.  We learnt early on that mimicking natural systems to manage rainfall, is the most cost-effectively way to deal with stormwater runoff.

An example of a green infrastructure designed that Citygreen has developed is the Strataflow™ system.  Instead of a traditional bioretention basin, Citygreen’s Strataflow™ uses an underground structural soil cell system, which delivers a high standard of stormwater treatment with a completely natural look. To any passer-by, what you see is a healthy, flourishing tree surrounded by a grassy verge, but beneath the ground is an advanced WSUD. 

This design starts with the Strataflow Kerb Inlet; this device sits in the road kerb alignment, retaining the inherent structure of the concrete kerb. The inlet has a grate (acting as a screen) to stop larger-sized pollutants from entering the system, which inhibits healthy tree growth. 

The inlet lets water from the road carriageway flow through the front grate of the drain at a capacity of up to 18 litres/ 5 gallons per second. This allows the inlet to minimise pollutants entering waterways and reduce flood risks by controlling the stormwater flow entering our city’s underground drains. 

When the water flows through the street, it enters through the inlet and flows underground. From there, the stormwater reaches the advanced structural soil cell system, where the stormwater is stored, filtered and distributed effectively for the benefit of urban trees and proper stormwater management.

The inlet ensures the water drains down at the correct optimal depth beneath the pavement height. From there, the stormwater reaches the structural soil cell system and the tree’s root system, where the stormwater is stored, filtered and distributed effectively to benefit urban trees and proper stormwater management.

Essentially, Strataflow™ utilises readily available stormwater rather than potable water to irrigate street trees, which improves the vitality of trees and reduces the impact of stormwater on the local environment, all while maintaining a high natural presentation. 

Call us Today 

Looking for a cost-effective and sustainable stormwater solution? Contact our friendly Citygreen Team today.

Are living green walls challenging to maintain?

A common concern with living green walls is maintenance, which may put people off investing in this high-value asset – but don’t be afraid!

At Citygreen, we can provide continual support from installation to maintenance requirements for our Citygreen™ Living Wall system so consumers know they are getting the best return on their investment.

Below we have answered the most common concerns people have when they think about living green walls.

Do living walls create water damage to my building?

The Citygreen™ Living Wall systems have a waterproof membrane that prevents water from penetrating substructures.

Do living walls use too much water?

Compared to other greenspaces, the water usage for living walls like Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system is low, as it typically requires two litres per square metre per day to irrigate the wall.

Irrigation is the most critical part of a successful living wall system. In our Citygreen™ Living Wall system, we have designed the vertical irrigation lines to be embedded in a moisture retention layer for optimal water efficiency.

An optional recirculated irrigation system can be installed to achieve further water-saving outcomes.

Will a living green wall work in my ‘space’?

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system is available in nine standard panel sizes; however, it can also be engineered to retrofit walls on unique buildings. The system is also the lightest on the market, weighing only 35kg per square meter, fully planted and saturated. This means that no additional support structures will be required on small-scale projects.

Also, as discussed above, wherever on the wall the system will be mounted does not require additional waterproofing, as a waterproof membrane is included in the design.

Do living walls require too much ongoing work?

The Citygreen™ Living Wall system comes with remote control monitoring. An advanced automated system ensures the consumer can control the system’s moisture, temperature, ph levels and general conductivity on their computer or phone. This remote capability extends to the automated refilling of the water tanks connected to the wall.

Liquid fertilizer concentrates can also be used in the automated irrigation system to feed the plants. This means that the consumer can easily maintain plant health, but they can also control the pace and vigour of new growth.

Are living walls too expensive?

Citygreen can provide a detailed cost estimate, ensuring that the most suitable living wall solution aligns with your budget.

Are living green walls too hard to set up?

At Citygreen, we will perform a site analysis to determine if any technical installation requirements will be required. For example, if we believe that the indoor installation site is too dark, we recommend using artificial lighting, which we can also deliver and install.

Depending on the site’s location: indoors, outdoors, small-scale, or commercial scale, Citygreen will also assist with plant selection to help find the best species that will thrive into the future.

Assistance will also continue past the set-up stage to the maintenance process, as Citygreen can help will pruning and any ongoing concerns and issues that the living wall may have post-construction.

 Call us Today 

As shown above, Citygreen is an expert in every phase of the design and implementation of living green walls– reach out to Citygreen for a Design Workshop today.

Can trees planted in urban environments capture and reuse stormwater?

In built-up urban areas, trees can help restore pre-development water flows and remove pollutants and filter water. Trees act as natural filtration machines, which can hold and clean water through soil and evaporation.

A question often asked regarding urban trees and water capture is, can stormwater runoff from roads be too polluted for the trees to use?

Yes, stormwater can be very polluted, as large amounts of debris and rubbish can suffocate a tree and prevent water from reaching the tree’s root system for absorption.

Gross pollutants, such as plastic rubbish or vehicle parts, can largely be filtered out often by screens, like stormwater grates.

Smaller than gross pollutants are total suspended solids (TSS). TSS refers to solids suspended in water or wastewater that can be trapped by a filter. TSS can include various materials, such as silt, decaying plant and animal matter, industrial wastes, and sewage. High suspended solids concentrations can cause many problems for stream health and aquatic life.

Then there are soluble or water-borne pollutants, which are difficult to filter out economically. These pollutants can cause serve damage to ecosystems.

Storm water systems can be installed, which prevent these pollutants from accumulating in our water streams. Citygreen offers a revolutionary range of stormwater management solutions that prevent water pollution and make it easier –and more affordable–to manage and re-use stormwater.

Case Study: Pelican Waters

Pelican Waters, a residential estate located on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, has been trialling Citygreen’s Strataflow™ system with so far great success.

This new development aimed to use the advanced water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) and improve sales of lots near bioretention basin. Research has shown that preserving natural features in residential developments can increase the value and sale price of lots.

Instead of a traditional bioretention basin, Citygreen’s Strataflow™ uses an underground structural soil cell system, which delivers a high standard of stormwater treatment with a completely natural look.

To any passer-by, what you see is a healthy, flourishing tree, surrounded by a grassy verge, but beneath the ground is an advanced WSUD.

The Strataflow™ is a specialised design ‘hybrid’ tree pit, combining the best urban forestry for sustained and healthy tree growth with fully functional stormwater management – including filtration and flow management.

These designs may start with the Strataflow Kerb Inlet. This device sits in the road kerb alignment, retaining the inherent structure of the concrete kerb. The inlet has a grate (acting as a screen), to stop larger-sized pollutants from entering the system, which inhibits healthy tree growth.

The inlet lets water from the road carriageway flow through the front grate of the drain at a capacity of up to 18 litres/ 5 gallons per second. This allows the inlet to minimise pollutants entering waterways and reduce flood risks by controlling the stormwater flow entering our city’s underground drains.

When the water flows through the street, it enters through the inlet and flows underground. From there, the stormwater reaches the advanced structural soil cell system, where the stormwater is stored, filtered and distributed effectively for the benefit of urban trees and for proper stormwater management.

The inlet ensures the water drains down at the correct optimal depth beneath the pavement height. From there, the stormwater reaches the structural soil cell system and the trees’ root system, where the stormwater is stored, filtered and distributed effectively for the benefit of urban trees and for proper stormwater management.

Essentially, Strataflow™ utilises readily available stormwater rather than potable water to irrigate street trees, which improves the vitality of trees and reduces the impact of stormwater on the local environment, all while maintaining a high natural presentation.

Growth comparison of trees planted in Strataflow (left) and trees planted in grass verge (right)

Call us today

Looking for a cost-effective and sustainable stormwater solution? Contact our friendly Citygreen Team now by clicking here.

What is the best urban tree planting system?

When planting trees in urban areas, there are a few specific elements to consider. The first, and most important thing to consider is that healthy trees require an adequate supply of loose, well-aerated, and uncompacted soil to thrive. This enables tree roots to obtain enough nutrients, oxygen and water so that they can reach their full potential in cityscapes.

In urban areas, where soil compaction is necessary to safely support sidewalks and pavements, conflicts arise when it comes to planting and supporting healthy trees. Over the years, many approaches have been used to help create useable, uncompacted soil for urban trees. Gradually two main approaches have emerged: supported pavement systems, and structural growing media.

Structural growing media

Structural growing media are soil mixes designed to be fully compacted to support vehicles, whilst still allowing tree root growth. An example of a structural growing media is the Cornell Mix, which consists of a blend of rock and soil.

In developing and researching this specific mix, Grabosky and Bassuk (1996) found that there was about 30% void space in a mix of 1.9 cm diameter crushed gravel, which could be filled with clay loam soil. Creating a stone matrix and suspending soil within the matrix pores, meant that the larger diameter rocks would lock together and allow for full compaction, while soil would remain loose for root growth.

Supported Pavement

On the other hand, supported pavement systems involve engineering a pavement so that lightly compacted soil can be installed in a space underneath. Implementing a load-bearing bridge, with low-density soil beneath, ensures that the trees rooting space cannot become heavily compacted.

Studies have found that any system that allows for trees to grow in non-compacted, low-density soil media, will have the greatest chance of achieving healthy tree growth (Rahman, 2013, Fite et.al. 2014, Urban and Smiley, 2016).

Comparison of Soil Treatments Under Concrete Pavement

One such study that Citygreen took part in was titled ‘Comparison of Soil Treatments Under Concrete Pavement’, conducted by the Tree Research Laboratory in Charlotte, North Carolina. The research compared tree root growth using supported pavement systems and structural growing media.

In the study, Citygreen’s Stratacell systems were tested. These structural soil vaults are modular units assembled below pavement level, which meet load-bearing requirements and provide a large volume of uncompacted soil for root growth.

The results of the studies showed that the trees growing in these supported pavement treatments with low-density soil media, had significantly greater growth and generally appeared healthier.

Conclusion

While the study did not point to a ‘best product’, it proved that structural load-bearing modules like Citygreen’s Stratacell and Stratavault systems, provide the best results in urban areas, where compaction is a real issue. For urban planners, landscape gardeners, architects and developers, what this means, is that by simply choosing a structural load-bearing soil system, they can achieve the canopy cover they require years sooner than they might with other systems. Essentially, cities, communities and individuals can enjoy the environmental, economic and health benefits of healthy canopies’ growth faster and for longer.

Have one of the Citygreen contact you

For more information about our products, and how we can help you create greener more liveable cities, contact our friendly Citygreen Team now by clicking here.

Download the full report

To read more about how our system performed the best, in terms of maximum root depth, moisture content and foliar colour, you can Click here to download the full ‘Comparisons of Soil Treatments Under Concrete Pavement’ study.

References

Fite, K., E. Kramer, B. Scharenbroch, R. Uhlig, 2014. Beyond the Great Debate: Assessing Post Installation Manufactured Soils Performance. Presentation ASLA Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, USA. Grabosky, J. and N. Bassuk. 1996. Testing of Structural Urban Tree Soil Materials for Use, Under Pavement to Increase Street Tree Rooting Volumes. Journal of Arboriculture 22:255-263. Rahman, M. A. 2013. Effect of pit design and soil composition on the performance of Pyruscalleryana Street Trees in the Establishment Period. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 39:256-266. Smiley, TE., Urban, J., and Kelby Fite, K. Comparison of Tree Responses to Different Soil Treatments Under Concrete Pavement. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry. Nov2019, Vol. 45 Issue 6, p303-314. 12p. Urban, J. and E.T. Smiley. 2014. Evaluation of Established Trees – Structural Soils and suspended pavement – Presentation at the International Society of Arboriculture Conference Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Creating sustainable spaces with one green wall at a time

Over twenty years ago, landscape architect, Robert Thayer (1989) examined the importance of sustainable infrastructure. Thayer believed that successful, sustainable design projects ‘symbolize[d] resource preservation through visual, spatial and sensory means.’

Within the context of resource preservation, most people think of preserving natural resources in ecological settings, for instance, creating national parks to protect forests or fencing off wetlands for migratory sea birds.

But what about resource preservation in the built environment?

Rooftops, alleyways, medium stripes, boardwalks, etc. are all resources that can be sustainably preserved and looked after, we just need to change our thinking in this space.

Safeguarding trees within urban spaces, and capturing water runoff from streets, are all forms of resource preservation that can and should be performed within urban settings.

However, Thayer thought that resource preservation within the built environment should go beyond pure utilitarian means and encompass, as quoted above ‘visual, spatial and sensory means’.

A perfect example of resource preservation in an urban landscape that encompasses visual, spatial and sensory experiences is living green walls.

Living green walls are able to sustainably preserve and look after infrastructure in a way that invites modern living to be responsive to ecological beauty.

Aesthetically, green walls exhibit bold, living textures that intrigue people, thus raising our level of participation and interaction with the environment and ultimately improving our sense of connectedness to nature.

In terms of resource preservation, green walls not only protect structures from rain and fluctuating temperatures, they can also reduce noise levels in buildings, and act as pollution filters to improve air quality.

Within urban settings, we, the public, should be able to interact with sustainable and ecological designs, as nowadays a lot of people do not have access to open parklands and gardens, hence why living green walls are a great sustainable design that should be installed more widely.

Living green walls create new associations between the ‘built’ and the ‘natural’, essentially displacing the old normative understanding that cities should be set apart from nature unless it is in park form, where trees, shrubs, flowers etc. can conform to order.

Green walls in one way can hardly be mistaken as natural, yet once planted, they, like any living or interconnected thing, assume a life of their own. They may not conform to an initial design outcome and seek their own patterns, creating more sensory experiences for the public to enjoy.

 

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system is a leading example of a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing design for modern-day living. Manufactured by the pioneering brand in advanced living wall products, Terapia Urbana in Spain, this living wall system embodies nearly 15 years of research, development and product testing.

For optimal public exposure, the living wall system can be installed for both outdoor and indoor use. The system comes with artificial lighting, automatic watering and fertilisation systems.

Compared to other more traditional green spaces like outdoor gardens and reserves, the water usage for living walls like Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system is comparatively very low, as it typically requires two litres per square metre, per day to irrigate.

A design feature that allows Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system to stand out, is the fact that the system is the lightest on the market, weighing only 35kg per square meter fully planted and saturated. This design feature enables more flexibility as to where the system can be installed without damaging existing infrastructure.

The design is made up of a three-layer system that all links together, allowing plant roots to have the ability to migrate freely and really take off to create diverse leaf patterns and colours to be enjoyed by all.

 

The design is available in nine standard panel sizes; however, it can also be engineered to fit bespoke sizes for unique projects. The system is also designed for quick and efficient installation for large scale commercial projects or smaller residential projects, with minimum disruption.

Conclusion

For the natural world to be appreciated by the public, it must be seen and experienced, which is why the installation of living green walls is so important, as it enables our increasingly urbanised population to experience nature in a way that is most accessible to them.

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system, enables both sustainable preservation of infrastructure within urban settings, whilst also allowing individuals the ability to immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world.

 

References

Thayer, R. 1989. The experience of sustainable landscapes. Landscape Journal. 8(2) 101-110.

Can living green walls help alleviate the impacts of climate change?

Earlier this year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their starkest report on the impacts of climate change, depicting the threats to both civilisations and ecosystems around the world.

The report documented that the effects of climate change have already impacted human health, livelihoods, and key infrastructure, particularly in urban settings. Hot extremes including heatwaves have intensified in cities, where they have also aggravated air pollution events and limited the functionality of urban infrastructure systems and services.

Essential infrastructure, such as transportation, water, sanitation, and energy systems have been compromised by both, extreme and slow-onset climatic events, resulting in economic losses, disruptions of services and impacts on human well-being.

Through an egalitarian lens, the report observed that these impacts are concentrated amongst the economically and socially marginalized urban residents. Climate change is effectively exacerbating existing social, economic, and environmental drivers of risk, especially for vulnerable groups who already lack access to essential services.

The authors of the report, urgently recommend an appropriate, widespread coordinated effort to adapt our urban environments to more extreme climatic conditions.

They believe that by improving existing and new infrastructure projects, our built environment can become more resilient to climate risks in the long term.

One way of achieving urban resilience is by providing greater access to ‘green infrastructure within our cityscapes. Green infrastructure refers to all types of vegetation that provides environmental, economic, and social benefits such as clean air and water, climate regulation and places for recreation.

An example of green infrastructure that can directly limit the effects of climate change within our urban environment is green walls, also termed living walls or vertical gardens. Green walls can form an important part of a wider strategy to increase the sustainability of our built environments by regulating temperatures and improving air quality.

Regulating temperatures

According to Dr Irga, from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia

‘thermoregulation is one of the most researched benefits of green walls.’

He explained that ‘green walls can reduce high temperatures within buildings by intercepting solar radiation and through evaporative cooling.’

Conversely, temperature regulation is not just limited to heat reduction, as the insulation ability of green walls can also be of benefit in cold climates too. Through controlling temperatures, green walls enable buildings to be less reliant upon heaters and air conditioners, resulting in reductions in energy consumption.

Improving air quality

The natural, biological processes of green walls can improve air quality in the home and in urban settings by removing polluting air particulars.

The plants used within the green walls can capture airborne particles on their foliage and, with the associated microbial community, degrade a range of gaseous pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

VOCs are generated by motor vehicles, fires, industrial processes, and consumer products like paint. Some are highly toxic and prolonged exposure may increase the risk of health problems.

Aside from absorbing VOCs, green walls are also able to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2). All plants including those grown inside, or on the side of buildings, act as natural carbon dioxide filters. They absorb CO2 from the air to fuel the photosynthesis which allows them to grow and thrive. Presently, more research is needed to determine the most effective CO2 absorbing plants for vertical gardens.

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system is a leading green wall product that can directly alleviate some of the risks created associated with climate change, by creating greener, cooler, and more liveable cities.

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system embodies nearly

15 years of research, development, and product testing.

The design is available in nine standard panel sizes; however, it can also be engineered to retrofit walls on unique buildings.

The system is designed for quick and efficient installation for large scale commercial projects or smaller residential projects, with minimum disruption. The Living Wall system has irrigation lines embedded in a moisture retention layer to ensure optimal water distribution and water efficiency.

This enables both rapid and healthy plant growth post-install.

The assembly of the Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system incorporates a waterproofing layer, a moisture retention layer, and a breathable fabric layer with pockets for the soil so that a wide variety of plants can be selected and grown within the system.

Conclusion

The ability to adapt our urban centres to the unfolding risks of climate change is becoming ever more urgent.

Urban populations, particularly those in marginalised areas, are exceedingly feeling the impacts of more intense weather patterns.

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system is a product that once installed, can rapidly start to alleviate some of the impacts of climate change, by regulating ambient temperatures, improving air quality conditions, and absorbing CO2.

References
P.J. Irga, et al, The distribution of green walls and green roofs throughout Australia: Do policy instruments influence the frequency of projects? Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 24, 2017, 164-174.

Why modern day living needs more biophilic designs

As leaders in urban landscape solutions, the concept of biophilic design has been pioneered by Citygreen for almost two decades. Our mantra of transforming grey spaces into green, by incorporating nature into cityscapes, goes to the heart of what biophilic design is all about.

The term biophilia was first used by the pioneering naturalist and biologist Edward Wilson in 1984 when he hypothesised that humans have an “innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes.”

This tendency that Wilson speaks to, refers to the bond and deep sense of familiarity that humans and nature share. As a biologist, Wilson viewed life through an ecological lens, comparing lifelike processes to “organisms in an ecosystem.”

He believed that for societies to be functional, their surroundings must be akin to the natural environment that we were evolved in. In the man-made built environments, where most of the world’s population lives today, this sense of connection between nature and everyday human experiences has been slowly eroding.

During the COVID-19 global pandemic, lockdowns forced many of us to live in our neighbourhoods and home on a more permanent basis, which for a lot of people highlighted the lack of, and thus need for more innovative greenspaces.

Generally, the term greenspace invokes images of outdoor parks benches and beautifully manicured gardens, which is too simplistic in terms of 21st-century living. The standard approach in the past for town planners was to allocate a certain amount of open outdoor public space for conventional use, such as walking the dog or picnicking.

Yet today, with modern living requirements and conditions, the inter-relationship between greenspaces and greenspaces users has changed. As individuals, we are now spending more time inside buildings of all kinds, than we ever have before. Therefore, when we think of green spaces we should be contemplating indoor communal spaces like foyers in apartment buildings, food courts, and large shopping centres.

An example of a biophilic design that meets the needs of modern-day greenspace users is green walls, also termed living walls or vertical gardens. Such walls are becoming more popular, as they are able to convert underutilised areas into aesthetically appealing green spaces, by merging the natural and the built environments together.

Using straight walls and rights angles to recreate the scenic irregularities of the natural environment, has been a design goal for many sustainable companies including Citygreen. Green walls that incorporate a wide range of diverse plant species are able to artificially reinvent ecosystems, and can then bring the natural world closer to individuals, whether that be in a bustling inner-city workplace or residential apartment block.

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system is a leading example of a modern biophilic design. Manufactured by the pioneering brand in advanced living wall products, Terapia Urbana in Spain, the Living Wall embodies nearly 15 years of research, development and product testing.

The system can be used outdoors, but indoor walls are by far the easiest, as the microclimate is more predictable, with the installation of artificial lighting, and automatic watering and fertilisation systems. Compared to other green spaces, the water usage for living walls like Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system is low, as it typically requires two litres per square metre per day to irrigate the wall.

The three features that make the system unique, and why it is able to stand out amongst other living wall designs, is firstly the fact that the wall, where the system will be mounted, will need no additional waterproofing. Secondly, the system is the lightest system on the market, weighing only 35kg per square meter fully planted and saturated.

Thirdly, the design is made up of a three-layer panel system that all links together, allowing the roots of the plants to be both protected, and have the ability to migrate freely, enabling almost unlimited root volume for the plants to grow in.

The design is available in nine standard panel sizes; however, it can also be engineered to fit bespoke sizes for unique projects. The system is also designed for quick and efficient installation for large scale commercial projects or smaller residential projects, with minimum disruption.

With urbanisation and residential density increasing in our modern-day societies, it is imperative that more cities and buildings be designed and planned in a sustainable way that allows individuals and communities to have equitable exposure to the natural environment.

Citygreen’s™ Living Wall system showcases a leading example of a creative and flexible design that can be used within challenging and ever-evolving modern-day greenspaces.

Learn more – Book Your Free Online Workshop

References: Edward O. Wilson. Biophilia. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, MA, and London, 1984.

Load More...

“Great customer service, quick response times and a very in depth QA system with constant support.”

- Laura Wiesenekker, Project Engineer, Densford Civil -

“Citygreen is a very professional  business, and I found everything was great in terms of deliveries, product supply and information. It was all forthcoming and helped us to complete the project.”

- Keith Burns, Architect/Designer, Keith Burns Architect -

“Citygreen offered training and invaluable technical assistance during the works.”

- James Callan, Estimating Manager, Complex Co Pty Ltd -

“Our experience, in working with a Citygreen Design Studio was second to none. We found responses from the design studio to be very timely, and technically thorough. We went backwards and forwards a number of times, looking at different iterations of the design and, nothing was too much trouble to examine and explore different possibilities. I would highly recommend the Citygreen Design Studio to any future client considering using your services.”

- Sandra Smith, Principal Landscape Architect, City Of Monash -

“We are big on compliance on all projects, and the fact that their SmartCertify cloud platform covers all bases, and supports their 20 year warranties, is critical – especially that these pits are being installed under roadways and footpaths.”

- Johny Purkaystha, Civil Program Engineer, Central Coast Council -

"I reviewed all the previous projects that we have installed in the past couple years using your product and I can happily report back that we have 0% mortality in the soil cells, which is incredible!"

- Brendan Wilton, CEO, Trim Landscaping, Bedford, Canada -