Via Verde: Mexico City’s vertical gardens providing a pollution solution along the highways

Via Verde is a community-initiated project in Mexico City which aims to turn 1,000 highway pillars into vertical gardens.

Different kinds of plants are planted inside the “pockets” of felt to make the city greener and its air cleaner. The hydroponic system collects rainwater to cover its needs and each garden is equipped with sensors to allow its remote monitoring.

Spanning 27 kilometres in total, research suggests that it will filter 27,000 tonnes of gas, provide clean oxygen for 25,000 citizens, and create hundreds of jobs through design, installation and maintenance.

Via Verde was conceived of by actor Luis Gerardo Méndez together with the architect Fernando Ortiz Monasterio from “Verde vertical” Studio, an interdisciplinary Mexican laboratory that specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of vertical gardens in over 400 projects in Mexico.

Together they were able to convince the municipality of the metropolis, after having collected 80,000 supporters thanks to social networks and to change.org platform, specialised in online petitions.

The pillars are covered with fully folding prefabricated panels, ideal for making the various preventive maintenance services. They have a structural frame, a plastic insulation layer and include a hydroponic textile substrate.

The selected and used plant species are high-resistance and low-water-consumption ones, suitable for the difficult environments conditions that are typical of those places.

Via Verde wants to transform Mexico City, one of the most polluted city in the world, into an international model so that it could be reproduced in other cities and countries around the world. A project that makes visible and possible both a hope and a dream: transforming big cities into beautiful places to see and pleasant to live.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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