Green urban landscaping is fundamental to the sustainability, beauty and success of a city. Adding green seating areas, rooftop gardens and community gardens are just some of the ways to add more greenery to urban areas on any budget.
The push to transform concrete jungles into more eco-friendly and green spaces is greater than ever. We are proud to be a part of a number of large-scale urban transformations in major cities like New York City. We are excited about what the future holds in terms of other cities making the shift to greener landscaping, no matter how densely packed it may be with high rise buildings and parking garages.
Greenery improves community moral and reduces crime rates, both out on the streets and domestic disputes. Plus, greenery is good for the environment, helps to combat pollution and even reduces energy usage.
Here are some inspirational ideas to transform any urban space into an oasis the entire community is proud to live near.
Transform Sidewalks Into Green Seating Areas
Adding plants to sidewalks is as easy as adding potted plants. Urban soils are often poor and as a result lead to dead trees and plants. Not to mention, lots of surrounding concrete will make it difficult for roots to grow without breaking into concrete. Planters provide the perfect solution if you don’t have much soil to work with, or if soil just isn’t very fertile. Planters come in a variety of sizes, meaning you can grow everything from a collection of flowers to a medium-sized tree.
Add planters around benches or compact tables to create spaces community members would want to hang out at. New York City has transformed a number of previously cramped sidewalks into beautiful seating areas that have shown great results and community appreciation. If a city as congested as NYC can do it, so can your city!
Of course, you’ll need durable planters that can bounce back from tough knocks and stains, but that’s why TerraCast Planters are used in so many city renovations. Our planters are the best of the best in terms of long-term durability. Plus, they are incredibly low maintenance.
Living in the city means you probably don’t have much of a front or backyard. In which case your rooftop can serve as an equally appealing space to create a lush green garden. We build buildings upwards so why not do the same for gardens? Rooftop landscaping has skyrocketed in popularity over recent years. Plants tend to grow really well on rooftops thanks to the close proximity to plenty of sunshine. There’s a nice breeze atop buildings as well, offering a relaxing spot to kick back and unwind.
Rooftop landscaping is popular amongst restaurants, residential communities and even businesses that wish to provide employees with a space to enjoy their lunch outside of the boring confines of the break room.
When properly designed, adding landscaping to your rooftop can actually improve overall energy efficiency. Not to mention, you could even grow fruits and vegetables up here to supplement your diet with virtually free organic produce.
Future climate change means rising temperatures and the need for more AC, aka additional energy usage. Large areas of pavement and bare rooftops instantly make things warmer. By adding as much greenery as possible to rooftops and beyond you actually decrease temperatures in buildings and outdoors.
Create A Community Garden
Empty plots of land or small alleyways can be transformed into community gardens that an entire block of neighbors chips in to maintain. Fruits, veggies and flowers can all serve as incentives to pitch in and reap the rewards. Community gardens prove valuable assets to bring communities together and even increase the overall appeal and livability of neighborhoods.
With approval from the city, one or more people can start up a garden and see who wants to join in from there. You could even post signs, send out emails and hold a meeting beforehand to get a general idea as to who is interested in making a communal garden a reality in your neighborhood.
When adding greenery to any area it’s important to pick plants that are truly eco-friendly. Grass is not an eco-friendly option. Instead aim for hardy greenery that requires little to no mowing, water and additional maintenance. Research native plants to your area and pick foliage with the lowest maintenance and highest success rates.
Drive Out The Cars To Create Public City Squares
Times Square, popularly located in the heart of New York City, used to be a jam-packed mess of cars trying to squeeze through. Now, cars must use different thoroughfares so that people can enjoy Times Square without all of the motorized traffic getting in the way. While Times Square still sees heavy traffic along where Broadway intersects with 8th Avenue, there is room to breathe when you get to the center of the square.
By pushing the cars out in exchange for a cozy city square, NYC was able to transform Times Square relatively quickly and for very little cost. Pretty planters and seating spaces now add to the appeal of the world famous location. We are proud of the work we contributed in collaboration with NYC to make Times Square a more manageable and enjoyable space.
NYC is far from the only big city to implement similar changes. Car-free city squares are becoming increasingly popular. Some important factors to consider when designing a public square:
-Create a focal point for people to gather around, such as a pretty fountain or other water feature.
-Add appropriate furnishings, plants and other amenities that will attract people to the space.
-Open up streets to food carts so that people have the chance to eat and socialize in these areas.
-Greenery is an important component to soften up the square and give it naturally beautiful appeal. Greenery can also serve as natural shade.
-Pay close attention to the sun and wind when designing spaces for utmost comfort and functionality.
TerraCast Products has everything you need to start transforming any urban space into a green oasis. Contact us today to learn more!