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.