Vertical Gardens: The way of the future?
As the world’s population continues to grow at an unsustainable rate, accompanying problems are compounded by an overall trend towards urbanisation. That is, a higher proportion of people live in the city, or within a close radius, in order to take advantage of economic opportunities. Space is at a premium.
Yet, we know that humans do not fare particularly well in a “concrete jungle”. Detrimental effects have been found on both physical and mental health. In many cases, room for traditional parks is simply not available. One proposed solution is vertical gardens.
Taking a leaf from the concept of vertical farming -- which many see as the way of the future -- vertical gardens seek to offer abundant green spaces within the context and limitations of the metropolitan built environment. In addition to positive impact on human health, such initiatives improve the aesthetics of the city overall and help to tackle climate change through the extra consumption of carbon dioxide.
One such project, already in the planning stage, may be found in Eindhoven, Netherlands (Business Insider, 2018). Not only will the “vertical forest” add to the city’s Green Policy Plan, but the apartments made available will prioritise affordable housing.
So far, only a handful of other countries are also getting in on the act. Will the rest of the affluent, developed world follow suit? It will take some creative thinking and innovative design choices. Only time will tell if more conservative cities are up to the challenge. Why not think (and act!) outside the box in order to make for happier, healthier city dwellers?