Sunday, October 23, 2016

Greening Metro Piillars

For some time, I have been thinking of ways in which the dreary-looking sky-blocking elevated corridors of Metro / Road Flyovers could be converted into interesting street level art objects. I have learnt of citizen experiments in Kochi and Bangalore where certain stretches of Metro pillars were brightly painted by citizen groups or local chapter of Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) using bright spray paint or poster coloured graffiti paints. I had indeed given this as one of the six themes of a Design Hackathon  conducted with help of IIA in March this year at Rabindra Tirtha. However, although some of the six themes have fructified and being taken to the implementation stage (light sculpture in Eco Park and canal front development at Bagjola) , the Metro Pillar beautification project has not taken off.

It was then that I recalled that we had done a vertical garden at Eco Park (see picture below) and had also, separately, used creepers to camouflage walls of a sculpture garden at Eco Park. I invited senior officers of Forest Department to suggest if the concept could be used to make the metro pillars green. Of course, the complex iron lattice back-up of the vertical garden would not be appropriate for structural reasons and costs and so only creepers were to be considered.

The problem was that sunlight would not be available beneath such elevated structures. So the forest officers would have to locate appropriate species like money plants that we grow indoors. Dr K. Kunaldaivel, IFS, Deputy Conservator of Forest has been working on it and has just sent me the following photo. If the plants survive, we will escalate and extend to other pillars:

Experimenting with creepers to add green to metro pillars of
New Town

Vertical Garden in Eco Park near Gate 4
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Times of India dt 23 Oct 2016

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