Are plant wall/living walls sustainable or Green Wash?

With this post of the”largest living wall in North America being made”  on Contemporist it rekindles my old dilemma about their resilience in interns of water use and maintenance costs:  Aer they really just a type of expensive green wall paper, would conventional clinging views or creepers do the same thing a at lower cost albeit a bit slower? To their credit, the installation / maintanance   track and cage is a good design solution.

Living Wall Timelapse by Green Over Grey

Vancouver-based company Green Over Grey, designed and installed a huge living wall named ‘Mountains & Trees, Waves & Pebbles’, for the Guildford Town Centre mall in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Often we just see the finished design, which is fully planted, so we thought we would share a time-lapse video of the creation of the wall.

The wall system is made from 100% synthetic recycled materials. It incorporates waterproof eco-panels that are made of recycled water bottles and plastic bags, and this project kept over 20 metric tons of plastic out of landfills.


The role of private, public and “angel” investors in building resilience in the face of the uncertainties facing the urban poor in relation to climate change is a central problem of cities where the bulk of the population are below the poverty line and subsisting from day to day with no reserves to face even the smallest setback, is crucial to the survival of the entire population. In a large scale disaster the problems of global supply chains and their ‘just-in-time’ delivery ethos will impact the rich in their gated communities just as much as the poor as the supermarkets shelves empty within a few hours and supplies of fuel at the pumps is used up see Japan: Two Perspectives after Disaster (via Encountering Urbanization)
If a wealthy country like Japan must appeal for international donor aid for the victims of a natural disaster, see“Please help Japan” – Tokujin Yoshioka via dezeen
then what can we expect of the barely surviving economies and totally failed countries of the global South? See Rebuilding after Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami (via Encountering Urbanization)

Here  Stefan Pellech of Intellecap discusses the problems and opportunities in beyond profit:

Intellecap, publisher of Beyond Profit, partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) to explore opportunities for the private sector in building resilience of the urban poor against the impacts of climate change. Our work focused on understanding the specific vulnerabilities of the poor in four cities – Surat and Gorakhpur in India, Semarang in Indonesia and Chiang Rai in Thailand – and identifying potential business responses to these. Continue reading