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Vertical garden with 27,600 plants give splash of green

DOI: Reuben Piscopo

A vertical garden covering no less than 350 metres of concrete retaining wall at the Marsa-Ħamrun bypass is slowly but surely, nearing completion.

In an investment of €500,000, the stunning green wall, which will have 27,600 plants, will be longer than the length of three football grounds. It’s situated on the southbound carriageway of the bypass in Santa Venera.

The project was launched by Infrastructure Malta, in collaboration with Ambjent Malta earlier this year and if weather permits, it will finally be ready by next month. The material used for the wall’s structure was manufactured by using eco-friendly, recyclable materials and was specifically designed to reduce the risk of damage to the concrete retaining wall behind it. 

An automatic drip irrigation system, connected to a reservoir built by Infrastructure Malta has also been installed, to ensure that the plants are watered.

What’s more, security cameras aimed at deterring theft and vandalism have also been installed and contractors will be tasked with the upkeep of the 27,600 plants for several years.

DOI: Reuben Piscopo

Infrastructure Malta and Ambjent Malta will be studying the development of the vertical garden, in order to assess the feasibility of introducing this kind of green infrastructure in other public spaces, too. In the meantime, the former company is also working with the Creative Arts of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), to set up an outdoor art gallery in another section of the same wall.

“Green walls provide multiple benefits in urban areas. They serve as potential ecological stepping stones for insects and pollinators between rural and urban environments, reduce noise pollution, contribute to cooler micro-climates, reduce air pollution, and improve the experience of those who live and work in urban areas,” said environment minister Aaron Farrugia.