Greening the Olympic City

The beautification of London continues prior to the Olympics with Boris’ Green Wall initiative, the first of which was unveiled at Edgware Road Tube Station. Some 200m2 of living wall comprising 15 different varieties of plants grown at Aldingbourne Nurseries, Sussex and designed and installed by Biotecture.

The idea behind this is to reduce pollution along the busy Marylebone Road and is part of the London Clean Air Fund which, with the help of Imperial College will measure the hopefully reduced levels of PM10 (a pollutant primarily from exhaust emissions) which is thought can be lessened by 10-20%. Planted last autumn, it will be monitored for 18 months, and dependant on it’s success, others could be rolled out not only across London, but other cities in the UK, too.

London has recently managed to avoid the fine of £300 million for breaching EU limits on air pollution, so hopefully the mayor’s eco plans will pay off. Although as regards to the forthcoming Olympics I am sure the government have the Beijing Olympic smog debacle at the forefront of their minds.

Other green initiatives include 50 six foot planters along Lower Thames Street, 200 Lime trees along the A40, and extensive tree planting to both the A2, A4.

Obviously as a landscape architect I welcome any urban greening and encourage any developer to consider incorporating one into their design. The technology for ongoing maintenance has improved a lot and will continue to do so the more we specify and install them.