What are Urban vegetated canopies?
- Vegetated canopies are tensioned sail-like structures that are anchored to the facades (front exterior face or elevation of a building) of buildings.
- They mimic natural canopies found in forests.
- It aims at incorporating greenery, such as plants, vines, or other vegetation, on the exterior surfaces of structures within urban areas.
- This approach, often referred to as “green facades” or “vertical greening“, aims to integrate vegetation into the built environment.
Types of urban vegetated canopies
- Green roofs involve growing vegetation on rooftops of buildings. They provide insulation, reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality, and create green spaces in densely populated areas.
- Living walls are vertical structures covered with vegetation, often attached to the exterior or interior walls of buildings. They can be soil-based, hydroponic, or aeroponic systems supporting a variety of plant species.
- Green screens are vertical panels covered with climbing plants or vines. They provide visual screening, reduce noise, and improve air quality.
Benefits of Urban vegetated canopies
- Greenery on buildings can act as a natural insulator, reducing heat absorption and lowering indoor temperatures, thereby reducing the urban heat island effect.
- An urban heat island means that an urban area is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. Urban heat islands occur when cities replace natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat.
- Plants and vegetation can help filter pollutants from the air, and help in improving air quality.
- They can help manage stormwater by absorbing and retaining rainwater, reducing runoff and alleviating strain on drainage systems.
- Vegetated canopies can provide habitat for birds, insects, and other wildlife, which can help to boost biodiversity in urban areas.
Why in News?
- Spain has been exploring innovative solutions such as Urban vegetated canopies to strengthen resilience towards climate change.