Beautifying major streets

Pansies on Shibuya sidewalk

As a gesture for improving a huge street in Shibuya, I admire the shop owner who contributed these small planters with pansies. It certainly makes the wide sidewalk, busy street and subway construction zone a bit more beautiful.

As a contrast for visionary ideas to improve major streets, I am showing below an image from a native plant company 5bai Midori (literally five-sided greenery) that uses a modular system for residential exteriors and interiors, small businesses and neighborhood improvements.

Gobai Midori street median

I like how they turn a functional requirement, like dividing auto and pedestrian traffic, into a solution that also includes low maintenance greenery and biodiversity from a mix of grass, shrub and trees, and the wildlife that they will attract, including insects, birds and the potential for volunteer plants. Note, too, how their vision includes rooftops, which would extend the green space. Clearly the modular system makes installation and removal easier, although I wonder if there are not places where planting directly in the ground will lead to more greenery, bio-mass, and urban forest.

5bai Midori is a fascinating company, whose leaders I met recently. I will be posting more about them soon.


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