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Mexico City Uses Vertical Gardens on Highway Pillars to Combat Vehicle Emissions and Noise

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It’s been in the news a lot lately: our vehicles are destroying the environment. This fact has caused many automakers to push for an electric future, but in the meantime, Mexico City is working to combat the problem in a new way: vertical gardens.

Officials are installing vertical gardens on the concrete pillars of Mexico City’s highway system, a project called Via Verde. Covering more than 60,000 square meters, the vertical gardens will be implemented on at least 1,000 columns of the Mexico City beltway. The project is still under development, but they are expected to counteract emissions and reduce road noise. Those working on Via Verde claim that the installation of these vertical gardens will help combat 27,000 tons of exhaust and provide enough clean oxygen for 25,000 people.

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“The main priority for vertical gardens is to transform the city,” said architect Fernando Ortiz Monasterio. “It’s a way to intervene in the environment.”

These gardens are kept alive by automated irrigation systems that reuse rainwater — in line with the project’s eco-friendly focus. Each plant put into the gardens is chosen based on a variety of factors, including sustainability, water consumption, and light needs. The plants also need to be able to withstand tough conditions; traffic and lack of water have an impact on their growth. Some of the most common plant species included are Green Aralia, Mist, and Fox’s Tail.

The Via Verde project is funded entirely by donations on and private sector sponsors, meaning no government or tax-payer money is being put into the installation or maintenance of the gardens.

Learn more about the Via Verde project:

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News Sources: Via Verde, Food & Wine, Reset, The New York Times, Yahoo News, Via Verde Mexico (YouTube)