The advantages of green environments are so endless that if we were to start we wouldn’t be able to finish. Children develop better, patients recover faster, the air is cleaner, people are more productive, and the list goes on and on. But, there’s a limit to how green our cities can be. Many of them are already planned, developed and structured, so our options are limited. That’s why we must get creative. Here are 4 innovative ways we could green up our cities. 

Build Vertical Forests

Just because there’s no longer space for forests in our urban areas doesn’t mean we can’t have them altogether. In Milan, Italy they got around this problem by building residential towers that double as forests. The Bosco Verticale, are a pair of residential towers in Italy that are about 111 metres tall, contain more than 900 trees and over 20,000 plants and shrubs. Talk about a building that’s alive. The trend is on the move as well. In Paris, plans are being made to build a 54 metre tower with as much vegetation as a hectare of forest. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see something like this in Lagos, Abuja or Port Harcourt?

How about a forest city?

China has unveiled plans to create a forest city with one million plants, 40 thousand trees and 30,000 people. Once completed, the Liuzhou Forest city could absorb as many as 10,000 tonnes of Carbon dioxide every year and produce 900 tonnes of oxygen. Schools, hospitals, office buildings, and apartment buildings will all host trees. It just goes to show that when you’re planning a new city, you shouldn’t only think brand new, shiny and luxurious, you should think green as well. Eko Atlantic could take some notes!

Forget about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Think about the floating garden of the Lagoon.

Lagos is famous for its Lagoon for both good and bad reasons. For some, it’s a constant reminder that the city hasn’t got its waste management under control and for others it’s an opportunity for great things to come. Instead of searching high and low for places to put gardens, we could grow them on the lagoon. They’ve done it in New York, where there’s a 5000 square foot floating barge filled with edible plants like strawberries and apples. Anyone can climb aboard and forage for food. Can you imagine taking a trip to Tarkwa bay in your very own garden? Or taking a tour down the Niger Delta creeks, eating mangos plucked from your vessel. 

A Tree Bridge Anyone?

The Fourth Mainland Bridge is supposed to be 38km long connecting Lekki to Ikorodu. However, we could do more with it than just lay concrete and steel to make a floating road. It could be a floating forest. Imagine a bridge completely lined with trees. It hasn’t yet been done anywhere in the world; but there are proposals to do it on Blackfriars bridge in London. Don’t you think it would be a perfect location for the Lagos City Marathon.