The Coolest and Quirkiest Urban Green Projects

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Whether it's a post-industrial renewal project or a brand-new display of civic pride, cities across the world are erecting green projects to spruce up their metropolises. Here are some of our favorites:

Singapore's Super Trees. Singapore's master planners erected these eighteen "Supertrees," which integrate more than 226,000 plants. Right now, the country is in the middle of completing its project, reports Sarah Laskow at Grist. "They will stretch up to 164 feet tall, grow 200 species of flowers, ferns, and epiphytes, collect solar energy, harvest rainwater, and work as a natural cooling system," she writes. "The project’s been in the works for a while and scheduled to open up this summer."

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Mexico's Vertical Gardens. No one thinks of Mexico City has a paragon of eco-friendliness but that's starting to change, according to The New York TimesAmong other things, the city built these cool vertical gardons designed to eat up carbon dioxide. 

Phoenix's Civic Space Park. This flashy green space was designed by the design firm AECOM and uses a splash pad and a field of LED-lit columns. The wormhole sculpture in the air was "was designed and built by Janet Echelman of painted, galvanized steel and cables, polyester twine netting, and changing, computer-controlled colored lights. It is meant to make the patterns of the desert winds visible to the human eye."

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New York's High Line. Originally built in the 1930s to carry freight traffic 30-feet in the air, the High Line stopped running in 1980. In 2002, residents envisioned a park in the sky where people can walk about amidst lush greenery. The idea caught on and in 2006, construction began.


Manila's Purifying Murals. It's one of the five most polluted cities in the world so to help fix that the city is using an air-purifying paint that filters out nitrogen oxides when it engages with sunlight and water vapor. For more details, check out the BBC's report

China's Eco-City. It's still a work in progress but the Tianjin eco-city is supposed to open in 2020. As the Huffington Post notes, it will span 30 square kilometers and showcase a range of energy-saving technologies." Designed by Surbana Urban Planning Group, the city will have an advanced light rail transit system and varied eco-landscapes ranging from a sun-powered solarscape to a greenery-clad earthscape for its estimated 350,000 residents to enjoy."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.