Grey to Green paving slabs bring nature back to cities
Although more of us than ever are choosing to live in cities, that doesn't mean we have lost our love for green open spaces. The popularity of parks and areas which haven't been wholly taken over by urban development suggests we haven't lost our yearning for something other than man-made materials. Caroline Brahme's Grey to Green is a concept designed to add a splash of natural color back to urban areas.
Grey to Green is a very simple idea that, once seen, makes you wonder how no one has thought of it before. It's essentially paving slabs with holes built into them. These holes can be filled with soil, allowing plants or grasses to grow through them. Nature already tries to repossess roads and pavements by pushing greenery through or even creating cracks in surfaces – Grey to Green calls a truce with Mother Nature, giving it space to co-exist with us even in the harshest of environments.
Brahme has included several different designs in her concept, with differing numbers of holes allowing different amounts of vegetation to take hold. This caters for easy customization, with city planners able to integrate Grey to Green into any existing paved surface. This has the potential to turn an urban wasteland into, if not a green and pleasant land, at least a more beautified environment.
Each Grey to Green paving slab costs around 90 SEK (US$14), though the final price depends on which particular design is chosen.
Source: Caroline Brahme via NOTCOT
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I doubt the plants will be killed by being walked on, since their roots will be protected by the concrete and they will keep growing. They just won't grow any higher than the top of the hole. It's difficult to argue that greenery will tear apart the concrete without first specifying the nature of the plants. Certainly some plants will destroy the block, but not all will. The idea has some way to go, but I think it's something that should be used in certain areas.
Although, Caroline Brahme's Grey to Green concept is nothing original it certainly is not idiotic.