4 May 2009

Paint the City green

This gives me an idea: why aren't all cars covered in grass? Real grass, green growing stuff. What with poor air quality in the City thought to kill 2,905 people every year we need all the photosynthesisers we can get - and covering the key pollutor problem in its solution would seem to be particularly neat answer.

Front gardens are getting dug up to provide off-street parking and this increases the flood risk, as water streams off tarmac and into the sewers rather than soaking into the grass and soil. Lawns are being lost - so let's transfer them on to the surfaces that sit above the ground instead. The grass/herb/succulent-covered roof is a well-established concept, and living/green walls are not infrequently seen - for example this one below on a children's centre on Liverpool Road, Islington. These plants grow vertically, so why can't vegetation be fitted to the shape of a car? Ok ok, it's not exactly aerodynamic - but then again traffic in town rarely moves fast enough for that to be an issue. Lovely as a rooftop meadow of daffodils would be, low-growing sedums and maybe the odd bonsai tree would be more attainable. Seriously now, does anything stand in the way of covering cars in mosses and liverworts? Mould grows easily enough on aging sports car soft-tops, and we have the rain and pigeon shit to feed and water these things. Imagine the gorgeous colours, the deep greens and ochres and chartreuse, the velvet texture between your fingers, and cool cleaned oxygenated air for us pavement-dwellers.

Plants not paint! The revolution starts now.

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