What Benefits Might Vertical Planting Bring to Hong Kong in Future?

The purpose of this essay is to look at the possibility and advantages of applying vertical planting on buildings in Hong Kong within the next fifty years. The concept of vertical planting was created by the French botanist Patrick Blanc (Hohenadel 2007). This method has been applied to plenty of buildings in worldwide scale for reducing pollution, saving energy and decorative purpose (BBC 2011), whereas it is new to Hong Kong. This article will focus on discussing the potential impacts of the technology like improving air quality and reducing heat island effect in Hong Kong. This essay will briefly describe the mechanism of growing plants without using soil and examine the niche for applying vertical planting domestically. It will then analyze the impact of the technique. And finally conclude by discussing whether vertical planting could improve Hong Kong resident’s life quality.

The science behind vertical planting is plant physiology. Light, water, air and nutrients are the four primary elements for the survival of terrestrial plant. The first three requirements can be easily achieved. Light is typically sufficient in a daytime. Water-supply system in the city is developed. Air is everywhere. For the last factor, it may well be replaced. In fact, an agricultural method called hydroponics grows plants in nutritional solution (BBC 2011). Plant’s root is immersed in the solution to absorb nutrients (McCall and Nakagawa 1970), and then plant could grow in a container with an irrigation system. Without soil, the weight of the container will greatly reduce, and it makes installing a modular green wall on walls possible. Plants covering buildings act as a heat insulator, heat absorber and air filter that could lower indoor temperatur...

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