Vertical Gardens in Minhocão - Green closing the scar in the gray city
Elevado Presidente João Goulart, popularly known as Minhocão, was built in 1971, during the government of Mayor Paulo Maluf. The construction is an elevated road connection approximately 5.5 meters high and 2.8 kilometers long. It begins specifically in the district of Perdizes, in the west of São Paulo and extends to Praça Roosevelt, located in the city center. Minhocão was designed to reduce the time spent by drivers to travel the East-West section.
But the benefit it provides to drivers does not exceed the number of harms it has brought to the site. Residents had to get used to noise, aesthetics and air pollution, the lack of security and devaluation of the region. And that caused Minhocão to be characterized by some as a scar in the middle of the city.
Criticisms of the construction sparked several debates. The future of the Elevated for a long time was uncertain, perhaps still is. There have already been several proposals for the site, including transforming it into a park, as it is already informally occupied as such on weekends, or even the demolition of the road. But while nothing was being defined, the company Movimento 90º in the vertical gardens sector started a project in the region in 2013, with the objective of transforming Minhocão into an extensive green corridor, filled with vertical gardens.
The inspiration for the Vertical Gardens project in Minhocão
The Elevado region has more than 100 blind gables (side walls without openings, such as: windows or doors), which according to information collected on the Movimento 90º website could house 58,000 m² of green area. And it was this number that the company applied as a goal and has been working since 2013 to implement an extensive green corridor.
Minhocão's first vertical garden was financed by Absolut Vodka. Which gave great repercussion to the project that gained even more strength after the then mayor of São Paulo Fernando Haddad signed in 2015 the decree n ° 55.994 that determines as a form of compensation to companies that receive an environmental fine the installation of vertical gardens and green roofs in Sao Paulo city.
Vertical Gardens as environmental compensation
Vertical gardens as environmental compensation have been extensively discussed and evaluated. To understand why green walls are considered an environmental compensation, it is necessary to know some benefits they offer, such as: lower air temperature and noise pollution, reduction of pollution through the absorption of pollutants by leaves and balance of microclimate conditions through transpiration and plant evapotranspiration.
However, the Public Ministry of São Paulo (MPSP) does not agree that vertical gardens are used as a means of environmental compensation. By understanding that green walls offer less benefits than adult trees, since the processes such as: photosynthesis and evapotranspiration are evidently smaller. The MPSP even filed a lawsuit to ask for the ban on green walls as a form of compensation and states that “The creation of vertical gardens brings benefits to the city, but it cannot, in any way, be framed as a form of environmental compensation for not exercising the same ecological functions as the deforested tree specimens ”.
Vertical Gardens in Minhocão
Until then, approximately 5,000 m² of vertical gardens have been built in Minhocão according to data from the 90º Movement. The green wall projects are designed by national and international artists, always striving to provide positive impacts for the region and for all who live or pass through the Elevado.
Project: Matthew Wood
Project: Paulo Monteiro
Project: Christopher Page
Project: Guil Blanche
Santa Filomena Build
Projeto: Pedro Wirz
Project: Renata de Bonis
Edifício Santa Cruz
Project: Daniel Steegmann Mangrané
And that is how green and a few more colors come slowly closing the scar in the middle of the city. Or at least, reconfiguring the aesthetics of a city that has long been known for the gray of its skyscrapers. But now, she wants to be noticed by the green of her long vertical garden corridor.
By: Camila Torres
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