The green wall of Vancouver


This is where Vancouver, Canada takes the spotlight. In preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the city’s Mass Rapid Transit system is connecting downtown Vancouver and other parts of the city to its international airport.

As the transit system expansion nears completion, visitors can see a green wall along one side of the airport station. This wall is the ‘Largest living wall in North America.’

It was the brainchild of Sharp and Diamond Landscape Architects. It connects the train station to a Park below. The “green wall” is 17 metres high and about 12 metres wide and is said to be made up of 27,391individual plants! They are grown on 2,000 pre-vegetated panels fixed to a frame. The plants are kept looking healthy and green by an automatic drip irrigation and fertilisation system.

The foliage not only makes the wall colourful, but it also remains in bloom throughout the year - no mean feat in this part of the world. There is a selection of evergreen perennials, which creates a “four seasons” effect. 

This wall, when complete, has several environmental benefits such as evaporative cooling, air purification, and it is hoped that it will absorb some of the airport sounds!

The project was a joint venture between the Vancouver airport’s engineering and landscaping teams, and Landscape Architects. The wall was designed using not only the best technologies, but also plants which would survive in the shade. Plant species were tested and selected very carefully.  Many of the flowers that comprise the wall are expected to blossom in spring and the wall will indeed be pretty then!

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