Mexico City seeks to combat pollution and improve its urban landscape with a project modifying hundreds of pillars supporting elevated roads with vertical gardens. Elly Park reports.
Mexico City is elevating urban ecology to new heights with an initiative called "via verde" or green way. The project aims to transform hundreds of pillars supporting flyovers and elevated roads into vertical gardens to reduce pollution while improving the cityscape, says director Fernando Ortiz Monasterio. SOUNDBITE: FERNANDO ORTIZ MONASTERIO, DIRECTOR VIA VERDE PROJECT, SAYING (Spanish) "We live in a very grey city. Very grey and we forget because we have become used to that being our urban landscape. As soon as we find a park, a green landscape, we realize our mood changes." The gardens are actually walls made out of metal frames and cloth that are placed on top of pillars to avoid damage to the concrete structures. SOUNDBITE: FERNANDO ORTIZ MONASTERIO, DIRECTOR VIA VERDE PROJECT, SAYING (Spanish) "It's a special cloth which has a special density that allows the root of the plants interweave in this cloth. Each column has an automatic watering system that also works together with rain water." The project aims to provide the city with an extra 40,000 meters of greenery to hopefully lift the air quality and the mood of the city's 20 million residents.