As seen in the viral video above, Mexico City has installed vertical gardens on their highway pillars, not only for aesthetic reasons but also to help the environment.
Via Verde (Website), when completed, will wrap roughly 1,000 highway support pillars with a skin of plants. They are planted in felt pockets made with recycled plastic and connected to a hydroponic system that collects and repurposes rainwater for each garden. Each installed lattice network will also be equipped with sensors to monitor water flow and plant health.
Other benefits include lessening the heat island effect, reduction of noise from traffic, and they lower stress levels for drivers passing by.
The City of Orlando is currently in talks with a possible Downtown development called the “Golden Sparrow” where the developers are hoping to install a series of green wall treatments. If approved, they could be installing roughly a football field’s worth of plans on the side of their mixed-use project at 434 N. Orange Avenue [GMap].
We say “if approved” as the City has already expressed some reservations concerning the long-term viability of vertical gardens in the Florida climate. But we say throw in some bromeliads, ferns, and coonties and they’ll be fine.
With the impending construction of the new Under-I/Bridge District park by Church Street, this could be the perfect way to establish a sense of place and still apply some of the benefits discussed above to our Downtown.