Vertical greenery will be the defining feature of future metropolises, according to urban policy experts, as governments across the globe invest millions in making their cities 'smart.
"Vertical green architecture is definitely a need for smart cities," said Matthew Clifford, head of energy and sustainability services, greater China at real estate services firm JLL. "You can have a great interconnected city but if you don't have an energy efficiency strategy in place, is it really a smart city?"
The idea of integrating greenery into a building's façade offers a practical spatial solution to environmental issues like carbon dioxide emissions, a by-product of urbanization. Green walls, roofs and gardens offer protection from ultraviolet rays, reduces ambient temperatures and keeps building interiors cool, which in turn decreases demand for air-conditioning and curtails a building's carbon footprint, explained Ng San Son, associate director at DP Architects.
"While information technology may be the main infrastructure and driver of a 'smart' city, green architecture plays a key role by creating a better quality of life. If people take pleasure in their surroundings, this contributes to higher productivity and a reduction in energy consumption in a smart city," he added.