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The Use of Vertical Gardens as a Network of Urban Navigation Elements with a Positive Impact on Biodiversity and Microclimate in a Dense Urban Environment

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Horizontal green areas are becoming valuable, yet extruded spots, and their constant elimination at the expense of commercial and housing developments is disrupting green infrastructure. Interlocked existing urban structures seldom allow for the creation of parks and larger green open spaces, which could provide a habitat for a wide range of insects, birds, and other small animals. The lack of green spaces causes urban heat islands (UHI) over the cities. Vertical gardens are alternative solutions for urban areas, where it is not possible to increase biodiversity by creating new horizontal green areas. They effectively utilise surfaces that would otherwise be unused and transform them into effective green infrastructure elements.

Using the example of the historical city district of Bratislava, i.e., Old Town (Staré Mesto) in Slovakia, we present an alternative approach for resolving the lack of green areas. A case study was conducted to create a map of all the potentially suitable areas for the construction of vertical gardens. We divided these spots into three groups, i.e., walls, columns, and free-standing structures and proposed construction methods for each type. Regarding the placement of potentially suitable areas along the roads connecting important transport hubs with the city centre, we created an original proposal for a district-wide network of vertical gardens as orientation elements for tourists and residents with significant aesthetic merit as well as ecological and hygienic values.

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Sujets de la revue:
Engineering, Introductions and Overviews, other