Perhaps our expectations of urban ‘greenspace’ are about to change? This photograph was taken at the AICHI Bampaku expo held in Japan’s Nagoya City in the Aichi Prefecture and published in the Hindu Business Line. The purpose of the Expo was to “generate awareness on issues of pollution, global warming and energy use.”

It raises an interesting question. How far do we want go down the technology route and how far do we want to go in being smarter about how we do things? Perhaps there is a middle way between the two alternatives? How should designers respond to the twentyfirst century challenges of carbon trading and carbon sequestration?

7 thoughts on “Pathways

  1. Tom Turner

    Its a great photo and I look forward to more streets being like this. My guess is that the most visible difference between the cities of 2009 and those of 2109 is that the latter will have a very great deal more vegetation. The change has been underway since the Middle Ages and has a long way to go, as the photo shows.
    Another guess is that human activity does impact climate change but not nearly as much as the natural factors which govern the universe. Our contribution is unlikely to be as large as a hand grenade on the Alps. Astronomers believe the Earth will end in Ice or Fire, thinking Fire is the more probable fate. Fervently though I believe we should re-cycle everything and vegetate our cities, I do not believe we can change the fate of our planet.
    As for carbon trading, it is a useful device for persuading property owners to support more vegetation but, that apart, it is, as Nigel Lawson puts it ‘a scam . . . it resembles nothing so much as the sale of indulgences by the medieval church’ [ ]. What he fails to add is that the sale of indulgences may have played a useful role in discouraging sin and in transferring land from robber barons to the loving care of conservation-minded monks and nuns.

  2. stefan

    green streets, i love it! interesting though, how the approach, in Britain at least, is still horticultural. it seems that our green walls must be ornamental and regimented if they are to win approval! but what about an ecological approach. this may mean the encouragement of superficially ‘unattractive’ plants and a looser visual aesthetic, but its a fascinating idea that our streets may be lined with their own green corridors, that they might even connect areas of countryside on either side of our urban centres?

  3. christine

    An exciting use of a green wall would be as a sound barrier to freeways! [] Endless landscape possibilities – could be horticultural, ecological, artilogical…… and more!!

  4. Christine

    I think because of the differences between Europe and Japan (high percentage of Historic Gardens) and the US, Canada, Australia (high percentage of National Parks)there is a slightly different sensibility that operates towards ecology.

    I perceive a trend in the UK towards ‘creating’ ecology and nature-like space and experiences (ie the natural pool phenomenon.)And, although I appreciate this trend and think it has merit, I would hate to see this trend win out to the loss of the the best gardens in the world.

    But I am sure that there is an incredible amount of potential to go forward with ecological concerns….Plenty of scope for imaginative play in schemes. Influences are transcontinential.

    My instincts tell me that the integration of ecology and horticulture should be different (spaces, culture and history are different) for Europe and Japan…and for the US,Canada and Australia etc. Principles of design are cross cultural and non-geographic!

  5. Christine

    It is worth considering the work of French scientist Patrick Blanc. He has created vertical green walls insitu inspired by plants that thrive on wet vertical rock surfaces! []

  6. Christine

    Another interesting development in the green wall genre: See Studio G » Trend Alert: Grafitti in the Garden – green writing!


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