A year ago we wrote a newsletter focusing on bees and pollinators. By integrating greenery into urban environments, we work to promote ecosystem services. We have made great progress and we place great focus on the well-being of plants, insects and animals. We work more and more outdoors and can therefore benefit and increase the biological diversity in cities.
Biodiversity is a collective term that describes the interaction between different species in different environments on our planet. These interactions play crucial roles in the creation of ecosystem services, which are a necessity for human well-being and survival. Balanced ecosystems with a high number of different species create fertile soils, thriving crops, milder climates and clean water.
But biodiversity is under threat today. The number of unhealthy, and therefore unbalanced, ecosystems are increasing due to conventional farming methods, forestry and urban construction. This negative development and imbalance make nature more vulnerable. Resilience disappears along with ecosystem services, which is clearly reflected in relation to climate change and natural disasters.
Biodiversity is an incredibly important topic. So important that the UN has dedicated one of the global goals in Agenda 2030, goal 15, solely to biodiversity. The goal’s focus is to achieve a world where people live in harmony with nature and where animals and plant species are actively protected and promoted.
On May 22nd every year we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity.
In connection with the Day for Biodiversity, there are 22 guidelines for how companies and individuals can work to promote biodiversity. At Greenworks, we work with all goals, but see extra relevance in goals 2, 13, 17, 21 and of course 12, “Foster urban biodiversity”, as we wholeheartedly focus on increasing, and smartly integrating, greenery in cities.
Through our vertical gardens and cultivation beds, areas that were previously unfarmable become farmable. With smart design and material composition, facades, balconies, sidewalks and courtyards can be transformed into lush and green works of art. Our facade system, or vertical gardens, allows a high number of plants per square meter and high species variation. The high number of different species is aesthetically pleasing all year round and gives different impressions over the seasons. We have devoted countless hours to species richness on vertical surfaces and internally developed skills that few other companies have.
The fact that we do not limit ourselves to a few species when planting has to do with biological diversity. With a high species variety, we create not only beautiful green pockets in urban environments but also inviting habitats for all kinds of insects and birds. The promotion of species variation and richness benefits cities and people in the form of ecosystem services and resilience. Temperature control, increased humidity, noise reduction and stormwater delay are all services that our plant walls possess.
Right at Östermalmstorg in Stockholm, by our office, we have built a beautiful vertical garden. From the beginning, the facade was graffiti-covered and unappreciated by the people who lived or worked in its vicinity. We were given the opportunity to cover parts of the wall, which was directly appreciated by residents and bypassers. Because of this, we have now been given the opportunity to improve, what we want to call, one of our more spectacular installations. The vertical garden on Storgatan 1 will be expanded and plants will cover the entire facade. But this time, not only the plants will be in focus but also insects. In the wall, we plan to install various insect hotels to facilitate city life for insects like butterflies, solitary bees and bumblebees.
We see a positive development when it comes to integrating greenery in cities. Municipalities, property managers and construction companies are becoming increasingly interested in transforming sterile surfaces into lush landscapes. We are proud of what we do and think it is extra fun this year when Sweden gets to host World Environment Day and hope for an even greater focus on nature-based solutions for a better environment. We believe that this development will be long-lasting and that even more people will open their eyes to how important biodiversity actually is.