How to add nature to urban spaces
The clean lines and simple building materials beloved of urban architects functional and visually appealing. The abundance of such buildings in urban environments can make them seem cold and characterless. There are however, ways in which green can be introduced to the metropolitan palette.
How to add nature – Seedbombing
Some guerilla gardeners have taken things into their own hands in urban centres across the world. They plant herbs, shrubs and wildflowers in unlikely places in our cities. Guerilla gardeners will plant under cover of darkness. They use ‘seedbombs’ to encourage plants to grow on roundabouts, in planters and anywhere else which appears to be a bit derelict and run down.
Seedbombs are made with a 5:1:1 ratio of clay soil to seeds and water. By forming the mixture into balls, seedbombs can be thrown or placed to encourage seeds to germinate in unlikely places.
It might seem extreme, but fans of the movement think it’s a great way to encourage ecological diversity in towns and city centres. Studies have shown that greenery in urban environments improves the mental and physical health of those who live and work there.
How to add nature to urban spaces – Green and sedum roofs
Adding greenery to the buildings themselves will also encourage nature in areas where there may not be much space. The prestigious Athenaeum Hotel in London boasts a living wall. Made of a range of plants which takes up much of the front of the building. It is both an attractive addition to the building and a means of increasing local diversity.
A sedum roof can provide many of the same benefits as a living wall, while also being easy to maintain (as gravity is on your side!) Adding a green roof to your building will add eco-credentials to your build, as well as a warmth and softness to the design.