Living walls can provide a clever way to combat flooding in an old city like London with recurring problems of too much water on streets and during periods of heavy rain, due to the low absorbency of urban surfaces. The Rubens at the Palace Hotel living wall, reaches over 21 metres high. It will be packed with over 20 seasonal plant species including buttercups, crocuses, strawberries, spring bulbs and winter geraniums. Standing at 350 square metres with over 10,000 ferns, herbaceous plants and 16 tons of soil, London’s largest living wall.
The plants are irrigated by harvested rainwater that is caught in dedicated storage tanks on the roof. The rainwater harvested from the roofs and stored in tanks is being fed through the wall, from which it evaporates. This is a way of promoting sustainable drainage systems.
One important future directions of urban planning is to encourage cities to create their own self-sufficient and natural ecosystems. Copenhagen is this year’s winner of the Index award for the capital’s pioneering plan of how to address the changing climate.