Moscow's popular pedestrian walkway Arbat is set for en eco-friendly makeover. Local authorities have approved a plan to furnish the facades of a few houses on the street in the center of the Russian capital with decorative foliage, local news site M24.ru reported.
The head of the Arbat municipal district, Yevgeny Babenko, told M24.ru that the first results of the project, which is at the moment limited to three houses, will be visible in August. The official explained that if the experiment is successful and gets the approval of the local residents, additional foliage will be installed in the area.
“People will see the results and will understand that we are doing this for them. It's beautiful, eco-friendly and doesn't ruin the facade of the building. In any case, all works will be carried out pending approval of the owners of each property,” Babenko was quoted saying.
The project has received the appraisal of the Union of Moscow Architects, M24.ru reported.
“It's a global trend. Practice shows that vertical foliage doesn't damage the facades. In fact, it can be beneficial, as it provides natural protection from the sun,” the president of the union, Viktor Logvinov, said. “During the winter, on the contrary, the leaves fall, and thus more sunlight enters the building and heats up the environment. And it's a natural source of oxygen.”
This isn't Moscow's first attempt to improve its ecological track record. In 2013, the city launched the One Million Trees program, aimed at increasing the number of trees and bushes planted in residential areas, M24.ru reported. Other initiatives include plans to develop rooftop gardens at Paveletskaya railway station and at the Park Kultury, Novoslobodskaya and Ploshchad Ilicha metro stations.