Green is hitting the roof (and walls!)

All over the world, cities are starting to take green roofs and walls seriously as a way of improving the environmental performance of buildings, re-introducing nature (and in some cases, agriculture) into urban settings and generally just getting hip and cool (pun intended).

New York and Chicago have lots of them (check out here for a few examples), and Sydney City Council even has a map on its website of the current locations of the many already in that city.

While in Sydney recently helping lead a best practice planning tour for overseas planners and urbanists as part of our Green Shoe Travel brand, I inspected the Central Park development on a former downtown brewery site and saw first hand some of the largest, and hairiest, green walls around.

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I liked their scale, clever techniques, the way it integrates with the building and the vibe it creates. And just down the road on the same site was a remnant of a more traditional green wall on a disused pub.

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I guess everything old is new again. And I like it.

Greg Vann
October 2013

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