One of Liverpool’s most fashionable areas has been given a great green makeover thanks to the city’s latest ‘living wall’.
Wander through the heart of the Ropewalks district and you’ll be hit with 132 square metres of fronds, foliage and flora across the front of the Parr Street Car Park.
A total of more than 12,000 plants and flowers adorn the brand new installation, including daffodils, lavender and even wild strawberries for passers-by to pick when they start to fruit.
This Living Green Wall is part of an innovative project to encourage wildlife back into the city centre, help clean the air and give everyone something wonderful to look at.
The project is a partnership between Liverpool City Council, The Mersey Forest and Liverpool University and is funded through the EU Horizon 2020 project Urban GreenUP.
Over the next two years, a team from the university will monitor the performance and impact of the wall. They will be looking at how the pollinator plants could encourage more insects to the area to create a mini-eco-system and how the wall may function as an ‘environmental stepping stone’ to other nearby green areas.
The team will also be looking at how the wall generates a ‘feel-good’ factor in the local area and any social-economic impact it has once the city re-opens and visitors return.
The Parr Street Living Wall is the second such feature to spring up in the city in recent weeks with St John’s Shopping Centre also boasting its very own green wall.
Both walls are part of the wider £3.5m European funded Urban GreenUP project that seeks to tackle environmental issues through natural solutions.
Other green features soon to come online in the city include spectacular planted floating islands full of plants at Sefton Park and Wapping Dock.
Dr Juliet Staples, who is the Senior Project Manager for the Urban Green UP Project, said: “The aim of the wall is to enhance biodiversity in the area by encouraging more pollinating insects and establishing a food chain. In an area like this, it would be impossible to do anything on the same scale if it were on the ground so we’re hoping the living wall will have a significant impact and bring nature back into the city.
“As well as all the other elements, we will also be using thermal imaging cameras to monitor how the wall may act as a natural form of insulation and cooling.
“This wall is providing a range of functions for us and the project will monitor the effectiveness of those functions with a view to replicating them in other parts of the city.”
Andreas Anastasiou, of building owner The Iliad Group, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this project and hope that this will encourage further provisions for innovative green projects in urban areas.”
Cllr Laura Robertson-Collins, who is Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Sustainability, said: “This is a really exciting scheme which looks at the different ways in which we can green our city. It’s part of an international project and involves academic research as well, so we are very fortunate to have it in Liverpool.
“It looks at how we can maximise the use of plants to make an urban environment as green as we possible.
“Residents of the city can join us in this project by doing their own planting. If you have a flat with a balcony or a house with even a small backyard get planting. The more pollinator plants we can grow together, the better it will be for our city.”