The Via Verde Project—Cleaning Air Pollution Naturally

Air pollution has been a problem for a long time all around the world. At its worst, pollution is responsible for plaguing the inhabitants of densely populated cities thus creating stress and unhealthy living conditions. Many methods to remedy this are trialled in various cities, and some succeed while passing government approvals and implementation. Even so, as of today, there still has not been any convenient, reliable, and affordable long-term ways to clean air pollution presented—at least not a fully scalable and sustainable solution that can be used around the world.

Via-Verde-Pollution-Saver-Plastic-FabricOne of the successful and creative ways to clean air pollution is through using nature. Specifically, plants are great ways to purify the air as plants are great recyclers of CO2 and other pollutants. Using this to their advantage, Mexico has implemented natural hanging gardens along their busiest motorways to offset the air pollution coming from daily vehicle use. The project is called Via Verde and uses the already established concrete pillar infrastructure of the highway overpasses to grow hanging vertical gardens.

These hanging gardens placed in Mexico’s busiest highways take up about 600,000 sq ft of vertical hanging space on the concrete columns. The hanging plants are placed on about 1,000 concrete pillars and will produce oxygen to more than 25,000 people living within the city—all the while clearing and sucking up about 27,000 tons of polluted air including harmful gases. The plants also help with absorbing 11,000 pounds of dust each year.

One of the greatest aspects of the project is that the maintenance costs are heavily reduced due to using the highways above the columns to capture rainwater. The rainwater is then filtered with and used to hydrate the hanging gardens adding to the self-sustainability of the project. The Via Verde project also heavily relies on recycling plastic as the plants themselves are placed on a felt material that is made of recycled bottles. The felt has the same density as soil and aids in the growth and maintenance of the plants.

Via-Verde-Pollution-Saver-PillarsThe Via Verde Project is a great natural way to clean air pollution. It utilizes nature and uses the principle of self-sustainability to clear pollutants from the air. Not to mention that the hanging plants add to the aesthetics of the city, all the while creating a stress-free and relaxing environment. As we all know, contact with nature is a great stress reducer and a natural calming agent. We can all thank Fernando Ortiz for creating a wonderful way to clear air pollution and setting the bar higher for other cities around the world!

Additional Resources:

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You can watch a video presentation of the project here:

Image Sources:
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Image 01 – Reuters
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