22 February 2021

Vertical gardens green city's walls

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, much progress can and has been made across Europe with respect to the implementation of nature-based solutions. In Turin (Italy), for example, green walls or 'vertical gardens' have been installed along several buildings. Green walls have a multitude of benefits: they improve insulation, reduce storm water run-off, capture CO2 and filter pollutants, resulting in reduced energy consumption and increased resilience.

In this case, vertical garden pioneer Verde Profilo was hired to help install much needed greenery alongside a homeless shelter and a school building. Together with the local partners, Verde Profilo ensured that the green walls were tailored to the local climatic conditions, considering sun exposure, natural lighting and aeration, using a mix of suitable plant species.

Two green walls in the homeless shelter will now support the wellbeing of inhabitants and create a welcoming atmosphere when entering the building. Wall locations were chosen together with local stakeholders in the Mirafiori Syd district. The vertical gardens are designed for easy maintenance with an efficient water management system (drip irrigation that is monitored and tailored to the actual soil status) and perennial herbaceous plants that do not require frequent care nor pre-cultivation. In addition, the walls will improve the pleasantness of the climatic conditions within the building; the regional environmental protection agency Arpa Piemonte is gathering data and monitoring the thermal effects of the green walls.

The indoor walls of the main hallway of the school are fully covered with vertical gardens, putting children in touch with nature from an early age. The walls were designed in close collaboration with the school staff, and the living walls will be further developed together with the children in biology classes to help cultivate knowledge of the greenery.

The City of Turin has major plans to spread greenery through a number of other nature-based interventions. All of this work is being undertaken as part of the proGIreg project, in which ICLEI Europe is a partner.

For more information, click here.