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Greece’s first vertical garden on a public building planted in Thessaloniki

Greece’s first vertical garden on a public building has been planted in Thessaloniki, the second biggest city in the country. The facade of the Urban Environment Directorate building on Kleanthous Street in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki has been converted into Greece’s first vertical garden, covering an area of 50 square metres. This space has been planted with 804 potted plants, containing four species of plants that are well adapted to the local climate and conditions.

The initiative was presented at an event held at the Thessaloniki Town Hall and the Kleanthous Street building on Monday, with local authority officials outlining the various features of the project, carried out by the Thessaloniki municipality in cooperation with the Global Water Partnership Mediterranean and the Coca Cola Greece environmental programme.

Among these is a rainwater collection system installed on the roof of the building, which will be used for the irrigation of the vertical garden through a cutting-edge irrigation and drainage system developed in Australia, a world leader in the urban water management.

The end result of the effort is a very impressive building facade that increases plant coverage in the area and improves the energy efficiency of the building, as well as the neighbourhood’s microclimate, helping reduce the ‘heat island’ phenomenon.

This was just one of several municipal projects to save water, such as the systems installed in the nearby  municipal swimming pool in Toumba, to reduce wastage of hot water in the showers and toilets that helped reduce consumption of water and energy by 20-30 pct.

Talking about the aims of Global Water Partnership Mediterranean in Greece, the head of the programme Konstantina Toli said that the goal was to revive techniques for the collection of non-drinking water, which accounted for 90 pct of household water use.

Toli said such systems had been restored or installed on several Greek islands, such as the 2,600 cisterns on Folegandros, or systems to collect rainwater on Syros.

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