When you think of sprawling urban areas and local governments that have taken environmentalism into their own hands, cities like Portland, Copenhagen and San Francisco might come to mind. But how about Mexico City?
In 2012, regional social awareness non-profit VerdMX started creating stunning—and environmentally-friendly—vertical gardens around the city. "The main priority for vertical gardens is to transform the city," architect Fernando Ortiz Monasterio told the New York Times at the time. "It's a way to intervene in the environment." Four years later, as a result of a Change.org citizen petition to the government, a similar initiative dubbed "Via Verde" has expanded to incorporate existing structures around town.
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"Via Verde includes the installation and maintenance of more than 40,000 square meters of vertical gardens in more than 700 columns on the second floor of the beltway around Mexico City," the petition proposes. "This would bring new green areas for the City of Mexico, generate multiple environmental benefits for citizens and positively change the urban image of one of the busiest roads of Mexico City, along more than 30 kilometers." The plants will grow around metal frames, which will be buffered against the pillars with fabric to avoid damaging the highway structure.