GREENING AND ENVIRONMENT

Via Verde converts concrete pillars into gardens to clean the air

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One organization in Mexico City is making their city into a better place one concrete pillar at a time.

Via Verde is a project that is working to convert at least 1,000 grey highway pillars into vertical gardens that can soak up pollution and smog.

The gardens are an innovative way of beautifying urban spaces, and absorbing CO2, heat, and city noise. The greenery has been shown to relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety in city residents, and the structural material used to make the gardens are constructed entirely out of recycled plastic.

The project is also sustainable in more ways than one. The self-sufficient irrigation system of the gardens ensures that the plants are efficiently maintained by collecting rainwater, instead of clean drinking water. The plant species are also specially chosen for their urban benefits, such as having low water consumption and high resistance.

Once the project is completed, the gardens will contain roughly 2.2 million plants for Mexico City’s growth.

Additionally, the gardens are being utilized as a source of social rehabilitation and job experience for local inmates. Men and women from The Santa Marta Acatitla Women’s Social Reintegration Center and the Oriente Men’s Preventive Detention Center are responsible for weaving the hydroponic textile substrate, which provides them with valuable training and employment opportunities.

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